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, Volume 194, Issue 6, pp 889–895

First Online: 22 August 2016Received: 12 April 2016Accepted: 07 August 2016


IntroductionFatigue is one of the most disabling symptoms in COPD, but little is known about the impact of fatigue on functional disability. We explored the impact of fatigue and fatigue intensity on exercise tolerance after adjusting for other factors using multivariate analysis and compared it to that of dyspnoea.

MethodsA total of 119 patients with mainly moderate–severe stable COPD 38 % women, mean age 66 years were enrolled. We used the Medical Research Council dyspnoea scores MRC, Manchester COPD fatigue scale MCFS and its three dimensions, Borg scales for fatigue and dyspnoea, six-minute walk distance 6MWD, St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire, the BODE index, and the Centre for Epidemiological Study on Depression scale CES-D, and we measured spirometry, blood gases, systemic inflammatory markers and fat-free mass index FFMI.

ResultsFatigue measured using the MCFS was associated with 6MWD and explained 22 % of the variability in 6MWD p < 0.001. Fatigue remained associated with 6MWD after adjusting for MRC dyspnoea, FFMI and FEV1, FVC, PaO2, PaCO2, CES-D, TNF-alpha, smoking status, age and gender. We found that 33, 50 and 23 % of patients reported an increase by 2 scores on Borg scales for fatigue, dyspnoea or both at the end of the 6MWT. Fatigue scores both before and after the 6MWT were negatively correlated with 6MWD after adjusting for FEV1, FFMI, CES-D score and age p = 0.007 and 0.001, respectively.

ConclusionIn moderate stable COPD, fatigue may be a central driver of functional disability, to the same extent as dyspnoea.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1007-s00408-016-9931-y contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Khaled Al-shair - Umme Kolsum - Dave Singh - Jørgen Vestbo


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