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      Six-minute walk test in children and adolescents.

      The Journal of Pediatrics
      Adolescent, Age Factors, Body Composition, physiology, Child, Child, Preschool, Exercise Test, methods, Female, Heart Rate, Humans, Male, Physical Exertion, Physical Fitness, Reference Values, Time Factors, Walking

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          To evaluate the 6-minute walking distance (6MWD) for healthy Caucasian children and adolescents of a population-based sample from the age of 3 to 18 years. Two hundred and eighty boys and 248 girls completed a modified test, using a measuring wheel as incentive device. Median 6MWD increased from the age of 3 to 11 years in boys and girls alike and increased further with increasing age in boys (from 667.3 m to 727.6 m), whereas it essentially plateaued in girls (655.8 m to 660.9 m). After adjusting for age, height (P = .001 in boys and P < .001 in girls) remained independently correlated with the 6MWD. In the best fitting and most efficient linear and quadratic regression models, the variables age and height explained about 49% of the variability of the 6MWD in boys and 50% in girls. This modified 6-minute walk test (6MWT) proved to be safe, easy to perform, and highly acceptable to children. It provides a simple and inexpensive means to measure functional exercise capacity in children, even of young age, and might be of value when conducting comparable studies.

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