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3-month exercise regimen provides long-term benefits on physical activity in axSpA

25 Aug 2020

An exercise programme lasting for 3 months has been shown to confer positive long-term effects on leisure time physical activity in individuals with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA), indicating a more favourable health profile, according to a study.

The investigators performed a secondary analysis on data from 100 individuals with axSpA who were included in a randomized controlled trial, in which the exercise group (EG) participated in a 3-month exercise programme while the control group (CG) received no intervention.

A questionnaire was used to measure physical activity during leisure time (physically active: ≥1 hour/week with moderate/vigorous intensity physical activity). Disease activity was measured using the Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Scale (ASDAS; higher score = worst). Chi-square tests, logistic regression, and mixed models were used to perform statistical analyses on an intention-to-treat basis.

Significantly more individuals in the EG than in the CG were physically active (67 percent vs 13 percent; p<0.001) and exercised 2–3 times/week (58 percent vs 15 percent; p=0.02), and fewer exercised at light intensity (8 percent vs 44 percent; p=0.002) at the 12-month follow-up.

The factors most associated with being physically active were “participation in the EG” (odds ratio [OR], 6.7, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 2.4–18.6; p<0.001) and “being physically active at baseline” (OR, 4.7, 95 percent CI, 1.4–15.8; p=0.01). No between-group differences were seen in ASDAS (p=0.79).

“[However], few individuals continued the intensive programme, and there was no difference between the groups in disease activity after 12 months,” the investigators noted.

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