Cardiopulmonary and CD4 cell changes in response to exercise training in early symptomatic HIV infection. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 31, No. 7, pp. 973-979, 1999.
Purpose: The purposes of the present study were to assess the effects of a 12-wk laboratory based aerobic exercise program on cardiopulmonary function, CD4 cell count, and physician-assessed health status among symptomatic pre-AIDS HIV-infected individuals (N = 28) and to assess the degree to which ill health was associated with exercise relapse.
Methods: Responses to graded exercise test, physician-assessed health status, and CD4 cell counts were determined at baseline and 12-wk follow-up for participants randomly assigned to exercise or control conditions, and reasons for exercise noncompliance were recorded.
Results: Approximately 61% of exercise-assigned participants complied (> 50% attendance) with the exercise program, and analyses of exercise relapse data indicated that obesity and smoking status, but not exercise-associated illness, differentiated compliant from noncompliant exercisers. Compliant exercisers significantly improved peak oxygen consumption (V̇O2peak; 12%), oxygen pulse (O2pulse; 13%), tidal volume (TV; 8%), ventilation (V̇E; 17%), and leg power (25%) to a greater degree than control participants and noncompliant exercisers (all P < 0.05). Although no group differences in health status were found, a significant interaction effect indicated that noncompliant exercisers' CD4 cells declined (18%) significantly, whereas compliant exercisers' cell counts significantly increased (13%; P < 0.05).
Conclusion: We conclude that although aerobic exercise can improve cardiopulmonary functioning in symptomatic HIV-infected individuals with minimal health risks, attention to factors associated with exercise adherence is warranted.