The anti-inflammatory effects of exercise in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

The number of individuals suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD is on the rise in Canada and around the world. COPD, is an inflammatory disease primarily associated with lung inflammation. Inflammation also extends beyond the lungs, and the presence of inflammatory factors in the blood causes blood vessel and heart disease, increasing a COPD patient’s risk of heart attack and stroke. Exercise training is known to have anti-inflammatory effects that are beneficial in the treatment and prevention of a number of chronic conditions. However, the effects of exercise on inflammation in the airways and blood of COPD patients is not well understood. It is also unknown whether exercise training can reverse some of the detrimental effects of inflammation in the blood vessels and brains of patients with COPD and reduce their risk of having a heart attack or stroke. To answer these important questions, Dr. Neil Eves will be conducting two studies. His first study will investigate how exercise training affects the airway and blood inflammation of patients with COPD. His second study will investigate how exercise training improves blood vessel function in patients with COPD and whether these improvements are related to changes in inflammation. Reducing inflammation with exercise in patients with COPD could greatly improve the health of these patients and reduce secondary morbidities associated with the disease.