Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2008) 07, 229 - 234

Research article
Lung Diffusion Capacity can Predict Maximal Exercise in Apparently Healthy Heavy Smokers
Panagiota Tzani , Marina Aiello, Marco Colella, Alessia Verduri, Emilio Marangio, Dario Olivieri, Alfredo Chetta
Author Information
Department of Clinical Sciences, Section of Respiratory Diseases, University of Parma, Italy

Panagiota Tzani
✉ Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche, Sezione di Clinica Pneumologica, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria, Padiglione Rasori, via G. Rasori 10, 43100 Parma, Italy
Publish Date
Received: 17-09-2007
Accepted: 14-03-2008
Published (online): 01-06-2008
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Chronic exposure to tobacco smoking may damage lung and heart function. The aim of this study was to assess maximal exercise capacity and its relationship with lung function in apparently healthy smokers. We recruited 15 heavy smokers (age 47 years ± 7, BMI 25 kg/m2 ± 3, pack/years 32 ± 9) without any cardiovascular or pulmonary signs and symptoms. Fifteen healthy non smoking subjects were enrolled as a control group. All subjects underwent pulmonary function tests, electrocardiograms at rest and graded cycle exercise tests. In smokers and controls, resting lung and cardiac function parameters were in the normal range, apart from diffusing lung capacity (TLCO) values which were significantly lower in smokers (p < 0.05). As compared to controls, smokers presented lower maximal exercise capacity with lower values at peak of exercise of oxygen uptake (peak VO2), workload, oxygen uptake/watt ratio and oxygen pulse (p < 0.05) and higher dyspnoea perception (p < 0.05). Moreover, peak VO2, maximal workload and oxygen pulse at peak exercise were related to and predicted by TLCO (p < 0. 05). Our study confirms that maximal exercise capacity is reduced in apparently healthy heavy smokers, and shows that TLCO explains some of the variance in maximal exercise.

Key words: Tobacco, lung function, exercise capacity, lung diffusion capacity.

           Key Points
  • Chronic exposure to tobacco smoking may damage lung and heart function.
  • Smokers present lower diffusion capacity and maximal exercise capacity.
  • In smokers maximal exercise capacity can be predicted by resting diffusion lung capacity.
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