Physical activity (PA) is impaired from the early stages of COPD, is associated with a worsening of disease prognosis, and causes COPD patients to restrict their daily activities in order to avoid breathlessness. The development of a simple tool to estimate physical activity level (PAL) could be useful for the management of COPD.
We investigated the differences in PA according to the modified Medical Research Council (mMRC) grade in patients with COPD.
A cross-sectional study was performed on stable outpatients with COPD. PA was measured for 2 weeks using a triaxial accelerometer, and dyspnea grade was evaluated in all patients using the mMRC scale.
Ninety-eight patients were recruited. Significant differences in PA duration were observed at all intensities according to the mMRC grade. Despite treatment with controller medications, 59.2% of COPD patients had low PAL, which was <1.5 metabolic equivalents multiplied by hour per day. COPD patients with an mMRC grade ≥2, which was the most balanced cutoff point in the receiver operating characteristic curve, showed a higher reduction rate of PAL (80.0% at mMRC grade 2, 71.4% at mMRC grade 3, and 100% at mMRC grade 4).