Physical activity and exercise performance in symptomatic Cambodia veterans.
SourceQuarterly Journal of Medicine, 95, 2, (2002), pp. 99-105
Article / Letter to editor
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Quarterly Journal of Medicine
SubjectThe role of cytokines in the pathophysiology of febrile illnesses and in host defense against infections; Psychological antecedents; Control mechanisms in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.; De rol van cytokinen in de pathofysiologie van koortsende ziekten en in de afweer tegen infecties; Psychologische determinanten; Regulatie mechanismen bij astma en chronisch obstructieve longaandoeningen
BACKGROUND: Dutch (ex-)servicemen who encounter health problems since return from the 1992-3 peace operation UNTAC, commonly complain of reduced activity levels, decreases in physical fitness and aggravation of symptoms after strenuous exercise. AIM: To evaluate these symptoms. DESIGN: A prospective study of 26 symptomatic Cambodia veterans and 26 matched controls (healthy Cambodia veterans). METHODS: Using an actometer and diaries, both groups were followed for a 12-day baseline period prior to an incremental maximal exercise test on a bicycle ergometer, followed by 7 days of post-ergometer data. RESULTS: During baseline, symptomatic Cambodia veterans reported more symptoms, had lower levels of physical activity and took longer periods of rest after high activity periods. Symptomatic veterans did not perceive the exercise test needing more exertion than healthy veterans did, although their physical fitness was decreased. Post-ergometer, daily observed symptoms did not aggravate in symptomatic veterans. Four days post-ergometer, actometer and daily observed activity scores were lowered in both groups. As compared to baseline, one day post-ergometer, levels of physical activity were changed in healthy veterans, but not in controls. DISCUSSION: Complaints about reduced activity levels and decreases in physical fitness in symptomatic Cambodia veterans were confirmed. Post-exertion malaise was not found. The observed post-exertion effects were traced back to weekday patterns.
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