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Cardiovascular response to exercise is a major prescription criterion for determining suitability and safety of exercise. This study assessed the cardiovascular response to six-minute walk test (6MWT) in Persons Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH) and their healthy controls. This case-control study involved 74 consenting volunteers (37 PLWH and 37 controls). 6MWT was performed on a 30-meter course level walkway following standardized procedure. Data were obtained on participants’ physical characteristics, pre and post-6MWT Systolic Blood Pressure (SBP), Diastolic Blood Pressure (DBP) and Heart Rate (HR). Rate Pressure Product (RPP) was calculated. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics of mean and inferential statistics of paired and unpaired t-test at 0.05 Alpha level. PLWH and the controls were comparable in age (p=0.976). PLWH had significantly lowered baseline DBP (67.84±10.58 vs. 76.22±10.10mmHg; p=0.001) and post-6MWT DBP (84.32±12.59 vs. 92.43±13.00mmHg; p=0.008) than healthy controls (p<0.05). The post-6MWT cardiovascular parameters were significantly higher than the baseline values for both groups (p<0.05). There were no significant differences in groups mean change scores on SBP (24.05±21.01 vs. 22.43±11.16), DBP (16.49±15.31 vs. 16.22±9.82), HR (19.30±12.62 vs.14.35±10.05) and RPP (4174.6±2572.01 vs.3494.9±1951.93) respectively. Baseline cardiovascular parameters of clinical stage 1 PLWH was normal and comparable with that of the healthy controls. However, PLWH had significantly lower baseline and post-6MWT DBP than the controls’. 6MWT led to significant increase in blood pressure, HR and myocardial oxygen demand in PLWH. The magnitude of cardiovascular response to 6MWT in PLWH was comparable with healthy controls’.


Cardiovascular Response, 6MWT, HIV/AIDS, Exercise.
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