Low cardiorespiratory fitness is a strong predictor of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality in healthy people as well as in patient groups. Unfit individuals have twice the risk of death from all causes, and tailored exercise is important to improve fitness.
It is well established that patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases have increased risk for cardiovascular disease compared with healthy population, and it is therefore particularly important that these patients benefit from the risk-reducing effect of exercise. Exercise has traditionally been recommended as part of the treatment for patients with rheumatic diseases, but exercise programs has mainly focused on improving mobility and reducing pain. Further, patients with active disease has been recommended to exercise with low intensity. To increase cardiorespiratory fitness, however, high intensity exercise is needed. It is therefore encouraging that recent studies show that patients with active rheumatic disease tolerate intensive cardiorespiratory- and strength exercises and can benefit from such health-enhancing training. Recent research in this field will be presented and discussed.
Disclosure of Interest None declared