Saturday, October 24, 2009

Physiological cost of walking for CFS patients

Physiological cost of walking in those with chronic fatigue syndrome
(CFS): A case-control study.

Journal: Disabil Rehabil. 2009;31(19):1598-604.

Authors: Paul L, Rafferty D, Marshal R.

Affiliation: Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Care, University
of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK.

NLM Citation: PMID: 19848558

Purpose. To examine the physiological cost of walking in subjects
with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and a matched control group,
walking at their preferred and at matched walking speeds.

Methods. Seventeen people with CFS and 17 matched-controls
participated in this observational study of physiological cost during
over-ground gait. Each subject walked for 5 min at their preferred
walking speed (PWS). Controls then walked for 5 min at the same pace
of their matched CFS subject. Gait speed and oxygen uptake, gross and
net were measured and oxygen uptake was expressed per unit distance
ambulated. CFS subjects completed the CFS-Activities and
Participation Questionnaire (CFS-APQ).

Results. At PWS the CFS group walked at a slower velocity of 0.84 +/-
0.21 m s(-1) compared to controls with a velocity of 1.19 +/- 0.13 m
s(-1) (p < 0.001). At PWS both gross and net oxygen uptake of CFS
subjects was significantly less than controls (p = 0.023 and p =
0.025 respectively). At matched-velocity both gross and net
physiological cost of gait was greater for CFS subjects than controls
(p = 0.048 and p = 0.001, respectively).

Conclusion. The physiological cost of walking was significantly
greater for people with CFS compared with healthy subjects. The
reasons for these higher energy demands for walking in those with CFS
have yet to be fully elucidated.


monicajane said...

I'm not sure how this shows anything as we're all out of shape and the controls aren't??

Maybe I'm not getting it?

By the way, I greatly appreciate your blog, though I've never left a comment...thanks

CFS Facts said...

Actually, Monica, there are prior studies showing abnormal chemical reactions in CFS patients who exercise, and showing that sedentary CFS patients can handle less exercise than equally sedentary controls.

My ex was *seriously* out of shape; it was a chore to get him to walk more than a few feet. I was always athletic, and even post-CFS walked much more than he did. But if something came up that required exercise (e.g., moving house), he survived it better than I did.

So, it's not just a matter of being out of shape, but specific physiologic abnormalities that aren't a result of being out of shape.

monicajane said...

oh, that I don't doubt at's just not clear to me how the study helps us see that.

Granted I didn't read the whole thing and at this time I'm not able to.

(I read what is on your blog, but I didn't read the original source which is really necessary I guess)