Researchers from the Netherlands recently conducted a small study to assess whether aerobic capacity differs significantly between unaffected boys vs. those with hemophilia. Aerobic capacity is the maximum amount of oxygen the body can take in and use to generate energy. The study, led by Raoul H.H. Engelbert, PT, PCS, PhD, showed that there was a disparity between the children with hemophilia and those without it.
The study comprised 47 boys with hemophilia from the Van Creveldkliniek Department of Haematology at the University Medical Center in Utrecht. The test subjects ranged in age from 8.2-17.4 years, with an average age of 12.9 years old. Investigators evaluated anthropometry (measurement of human body) in addition to testing muscle strength, joint impairment, functional ability and aerobic capacity. Even though all the affected boys performed the fitness tests at maximum or near-maximum levels and none reported bleeds or other adverse events, an assessment of their aerobic capacity pointed to poorer performance. Specifically, relative peak oxygen, peak heart rate and peak working capacity were considerably lower among hemophilia patients when compared with unaffected control subjects. Total muscle strength, however, was normal.
Further, test results of joint health status showed only marginal impairments. Although researchers also stated that a “substantial proportion” of Dutch children with hemophilia were overweight, there was no reported difference in the amount of physical activity in which they engaged. It should be noted that these rates of physical activity were self-reported.
The study “Aerobic Capacity in Children with Hemophilia,” was published in the June 2008 issue of The Journal of Pediatrics.
Source: Reuters Health Medical News, July 16, 2008