Is the six-minute walk test appropriate for detecting changes in cardiorespiratory fitness in healthy elderly men?

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Santana, Marcos Gonçalves de [UNIFESP]
Lira, Claudio Andre Barbosa de
Passos, Giselle Soares [UNIFESP]
Santos, Carlos André Freitas dos [UNIFESP]
Silva, Alan Herjes Oliveira da [UNIFESP]
Yoshida, Cristina Hitomi [UNIFESP]
Tufik, Sergio [UNIFESP]
Mello, Marco Tulio de [UNIFESP]
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Objectives: the purpose of this study was to determine whether the six-minute walk test (6-MWT) can detect changes in cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) induced by exercise training in healthy elderly men.Design: Randomized and prospective controlled trial.Methods: Thirty-two healthy untrained men, between 65 and 75 years of age, were randomly assigned to one of three groups: control (C, n=12), endurance training (E, n=10), or concurrent training (ER, n = 10). Training groups underwent 24 weeks of exercise, 3 times a week. All participants were subjected to cardiopulmonary exercise testing and the 6-MWT, before and after the training period.Results: At follow-up, the E and ER groups had significantly higher peak oxygen uptake ((V) over dotO(2) peak) (15.0 +/- 9.1 and 12.6 +/- 10.4%, respectively) and 6-MWT distances (5.5 +/- 5.3 and 4.6 +/- 2.8%, respectively) compared to the C group. in pre-intervention (n = 32), the 6-MWT distance correlated positively with ((V) over dotO(2) peak) (r = 0.51, p = 0.001) and (V) over dotO(2) at anaerobic threshold (r = 0.39, p = 0.010). On the other hand, there was no significant correlation between the changes (after before) in the 6-MWT distance and (V) over dotO(2) peak (E and ER groups: r=0.38, p=0.097).Conclusions: the 6-MWT is not appropriate to evaluate changes in CRF in healthy elderly men who performed endurance and concurrent training for 24 weeks. (C) 2011 Sports Medicine Australia. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. Oxford: Elsevier B.V., v. 15, n. 3, p. 259-265, 2012.