Cardio–Pulmonary Response Of Patients With Sickle Cell Anaemia DiseaseTo Exercise Test

  • AO Sanya Correspondence: A. O Sanya Department of Physiotherapy College of Medicine, University of Ibadan Ibadan, Nigeria
  • OO Obakin Department of Physiotherapy College of Medicine, University of Ibadan Ibadan, Nigeria


The purpose of this study was to compare the response of sickle cell anaemia patients with their age-matched counterparts to exercise test. This was to see whether patients with sickle cell disease could be given exercise therapy without any risk of adverse cardio-respiratory response during the course of physical rehabilitation.

A total of 70 subjects participated in the study; 30 of these had Haemoglobin type SS (HBSS-or sickling group) and were aged 18.57+3.06 years. Forty had Haemoglobin AA (HBAA or control group) and were aged 19.33 + 3.02 years. The cardio-pulmonary parameters (systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, pulse rate and respiratory rate) were measured at rest, during exercise and after exercise. The subjects went through step tests at stepping rates of 18 steps per minute and 24 steps per minute.

Mean pulse rate at rest for the control group (HbAA) and HbSS groups were 77.40 + 8.90/min and 95.03 + 9.25/min respectively, while pulse rate at 24 steps/min for the control and HbSS groups were 131.83+9.36/min and 158.60+7.61/min respectively. It was concluded that the response of the sickle-cell anaemia patients to exercise features a relatively high cardiac output manifesting as a higher than expected heart rate for a sub-maximal workload. This shows that the sickle-cell anaemia patients could be easily fatigued and should not be subjected to high physical exertion as their healthy peers. Exercise therapy programme in the course of Physiotherapy for sickle cell anaemia patients must be carefully prescribed, closely monitored and cautiously progressed.

Nigerian Quarterly Journal of Hospital Medicine Vol.9, No.3 (1999) pp. 172-176

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