Physical activity and risk of comorbidities in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A cohort study

Tsung Yu, Gerben Ter Riet, Milo A. Puhan, Anja Frei

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Multi-morbidity is common in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and low levels of physical activity are hypothesized to be an important risk factor. The current study aimed to assess the longitudinal association between physical activity and risk of seven categories of comorbidity in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients. The study included 409 patients from primary care practice in the Netherlands and Switzerland. We assessed physical activity using the Longitudinal Ageing Study Amsterdam Physical Activity Questionnaire at baseline and followed patients for up to 5 years. During follow-up, patients reported their comorbidities (cardiovascular, neurological, endocrine, musculoskeletal, malignant, and infectious diseases) and completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale questionnaire for mental health assessment. We implemented multinomial logistic regression (an approximation to discrete time survival model using death as a competing risk) for our analysis. Study results did not suggest a statistically significant association of baseline physical activity with the development of seven categories of comorbidity. However, when we focused on depression and anxiety symptoms, we found that higher levels of physical activity at baseline were associated with a lower risk for depression (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.85; 0.75-0.95; p = 0.005) and anxiety (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.89; 0.79-1.00; p = 0.045). In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients, those with high physical activity are less likely to develop depression or anxiety symptoms over time. Increasing physical activity in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients may be an approach for testing to lower the burden from incident depression and anxiety.

Original languageEnglish
Article number36
Journalnpj Primary Care Respiratory Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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