A more accurate measure of exercise ability in older people reported by San Francisco VA Medical Center researchers

han two percent, suggesting that OUES accurately measures fitness without requiring maximum effort.

OUES has great potential to help measure the physical fitness of patients with heart disease or kidney failure who, like the elderly, often can't run a long time on a treadmill, Hollenberg said. "We now have a test for these people that is more objective and more reliable," he said. It also integrates function of the heart, lungs and working muscles into a single index.

Ira Tager, MD, MPH, a professor of public health biology and epidemiology at UC Berkeley's School of Public Health, was Hollenberg's co-author on the study, which appears in the July issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Hollenberg and Tager are now using the OUES to study the decline of cardiopulmonary fitness with aging, as well as the relationship between OUES and other characteristics. For instance, smokers in the study group had a much lower OUES than non-smokers or ex-smokers; and heart disease patients had lower OUES than people with healthy hearts.

To confirm whether OUES can help/predict survival among heart disease patients, Hollenberg hopes to collaborate with researchers who have large numbers of these patients who have performed exercise tests. "The question is, can we use it as a more accurate predictor of mortality in heart disease?" he said.


Contact: kboyd@pubaff.ucsf.edu
University of California - San Francisco

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