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Study: Females With SLE Have “Better Quality Of Life” With Fitness

RM Lupus

A new study reveals that physical fitness, especially cardiorespiratory and muscle strength activities, are linked to a higher quality of life for females that suffer from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Lupus News Today reveals that SLE patients can live as long as most people, all thanks to advances in treatment and medicine for the condition. Having said that, while healthcare research looks for ways to enhance the quality of life, SLE patients still struggle in this regard, when one compares the quality of life for those without the condition, or even those who have other chronic illnesses.

There is a silver lining to all this, as recent research reveals that physical fitness has been linked to a better quality of life for SLE sufferers. Patients of the condition commonly have decreased levels around muscle strength, exercise capacity, as well as cardiorespiratory fitness, which is associated with tiredness, as well as their outlook when it comes to illness severity.

Currently, the role physical fitness plays in quality of life for SLE patients tends to target physical elements solely, forgetting about possible positive impacts this could have on a patients mental health and social factors.

The study was conducted by a research team in Spain, who enrolled 70 females that had SLE, averaging 42.5 years of age with no defined changes in the illness preceding six months prior to the research.

Patients did tests to figure out their physical fitness overall, as well as other specific areas. A back-scratch test was done for flexibility; a six-minute walk test reviewed cardiorespiratory fitness; and a handgrip test and 30-second chair stand determined muscle strength. Quality of life was measured via a survey which reviewed social and physical parameters, as well as mental health, emotions, social functioning; where fatigue and depression were reviewed as well.

The results revealed that in general, physical fitness, including cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength, were all linked to an enhanced quality of life for female SLE participants; specifically when dealing with less body pain and better physical function.

No association was found between mental quality of life and physical fitness.

Having said that, the findings overall did reveal that physical fitness helps to enhance the quality of life for females that have SLE. The research was not conducted to determine the “why” around factors; therefore, additional studies might be needed in this regard.

It’s also important to note that added research may also be needed as the pooling in the study was a small group, creating an underlying limitation within the research conducted.