Physical Activity, Exercise Capacity and Sedentary Behavior in People with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency: A Scoping Review

Orlagh O'Shea, Saidhbhe Casey, Ciaran Giblin, Aoife Stephenson, Tomás P Carroll, Noel G McElvaney, Suzanne M McDonough

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Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) is a hereditary disorder and a genetic risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Physical activity (PA) is important for the prevention and treatment of chronic disease. Little is known about PA in people with AATD. Therefore, we aimed to map the research undertaken to improve and/or measure PA, sedentary behaviour (SB) or exercise in people with AATD. Searches were conducted in CINAHL, Medline, EMBASE and clinical trial databases for studies published in 2021. Databases were searched for keywords (physical activity, AATD, exercise, sedentary behavior) as well as synonyms of these terms, which were connected using Boolean operators. The search yielded 360 records; 37 records were included for review. All included studies (n = 37) assessed exercise capacity; 22 studies reported the use of the six-minute walk test, the incremental shuttle walk test and cardiopulmonary exercise testing were reported in three studies each. Other objective measures of exercise capacity included a submaximal treadmill test, the Naughton protocol treadmill test, cycle ergometer maximal test, endurance shuttle walk test, constant cycle work rate test, a peak work rate test and the number of flights of stairs a participant was able to walk without stopping. A number of participant self-reported measures of exercise capacity were noted. Only one study aimed to analyze the effects of an intensive fitness intervention on daily PA. One further study reported on an exercise intervention and objectively measured PA at baseline. No studies measured SB. The assessment of PA and use of PA as an intervention in AATD is limited, and research into SB absent. Future research should measure PA and SB levels in people with AATD and explore interventions to enhance PA in this susceptible population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1231-1250
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Early online date16 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished online - 16 Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 O’Shea et al.


  • Lung disease
  • COPD
  • Exercise capacity
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Physical Activity Measurement
  • Aatd
  • Humans
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin Deficiency
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin
  • Exercise
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • lung disease
  • AATD
  • physical activity measurement
  • exercise capacity
  • sedentary behavior


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