Background Aerobic capacity is a key biomarker of health and wellbeing, from risk of secondary disease to quality of life (QOL). Although anecdotally reported to be reduced in primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS)1, aerobic capacity has not been objectively assessed. The lack of data limits the ability to target aerobic capacity as a therapy for QOL and secondary disease.
Objectives This pilot study defines the relationship between aerobic capacity with fatigue, disease activity, depression and QOL in pSS.
Methods In a preliminary cross-sectional study, 20 pSS (AECG) sedentary women with a mean age of 53 (±7) performed a maximal progressive treadmill exercise test. Expired gas analysis was performed with a computerized metabolic system. They were evaluated through the questionnaires FACIT-Fatigue, ESSPRI, ESSDAI, BDI and SF-36. Pearson's tests were used to correlate the variables. Multiple linear regressions were used to examine the effect of the variables on VO2max and VO2AT.
Results ESSDAI, ESSPRI and FACIT-Fatigue scores mean were 1.55 (±1.43), 6.13 (±2.75) and 32 (±8.49), respectively. Mean of VO2max was 19 (±4) ml/kg-1/min-1 and VO2AT was 15 (±3) ml/kg-1/min-1. VO2max correlated with ESSPRI dryness (r=-0.53; p<0.05), ESSPRI fatigue (r=-0.59; p<0.01) and ESSPRI total (r=-0.53; p<0.05). VO2AT correlated with ESSPRI fatigue (r=-0.47; p<0.05), ESSPRI total (r=-0.44; p<0.05), SF-36 General Health (GH) domain (r=0.49; p<0.05) and SF-36 Social Functioning (SF) domain (r=0.59; p<0.01). Patients reporting higher levels of fatigue, pain and dryness have worse QOL and depression (table 1). Multiple linear regression analysis showed that creatine kinase (CK) was independently associated with VO2max (β=0,02; p<0.05), as well SF-36 GH and SF domains with VO2AT (β=0.07; p<0.05 and β=0.06; p<0.01, respectively).
Conclusions In pSS, low aerobic capacity is associated with worse symptoms, higher levels of CK and lower QOL. The optimization of aerobic capacity should be explored as a way to modify clinical presentations and increase QOL in pSS.
Strömbeck B et al. Physical capacity in women with primary Sjögren's syndrome: a controlled study. Arthritis Rheum. 2003; 49:681–8.
Acknowledgements CAPES Foundation
Disclosure of Interest None declared