Six minute walk distance in healthy subjects aged 55-75 years

B. Camarri, Peter Eastwood, N.M. Cecins, Philip Thompson, Susan Jenkins

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204 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The six minute walk test (6MWT) is the most commonly used exercise test in pulmonary rehabilitation; however, the paucity of six minute walk distance (6MWD) reference values from population-based samples limits data interpretation in patients. This study was undertaken to determine 6MWD in a population-based sample of healthy subjects and to identify predictors of 6MWD in this group.Methods: Seventy Caucasian subjects (33 mates) aged 55-75 years performed three tests using a standardised protocol. 6MWD was defined as the greatest distance achieved from the three tests. Other measurements included height, leg length, weight, forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), exhaled carbon monoxide and self-reported physical activity including habitual walking.Results: The average 6MWD was 659 +/- 62 m (range 484-820m). Mates walked 59 +/- 13 m further than females (P < 0.001). Height (r = 0.54, P < 0.01), weight (r = 0.25, P < 0.05) and FEV1 (r = 0.48, P < 0.001) were significantly correlated with 6MWD. Forwards stepwise multiple regression showed height (R-2 = 0.294) and FEV1 (R-2 change = 0.045) to be independent predictors of 6MWD (P < 0.05), explaining 33.9% of the variance.Conclusions: 6MWD in this healthy population-based sample of mates and females exceeds values previously reported. Height and FEV1 were identified as significant independent predictors of 6MWD in this group. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)658-665
JournalRespiratory Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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