Background: Four-meter gait speed (4MGS) has been associated with functional capacity and overall mortality in elderly patients, and may easily be translated to daily practice. We evaluated the association of 4MGS with meaningful outcomes. Methods: In 70 subjects we conducted the 4MGS, 6-min walk test (6MWT), objectively measured physical activity, and assessed dyspnea, quality of life, and self-efficacy for walking and routine physical activity. 4MGS was measured in 3 separate time epochs during the 6MWT, to explore 4MGS variability. Results: Diagnoses included COPD (51.4%), interstitial lung disease (38.6%), and other pulmonary conditions (10%). The mean ± SD values were: 4MGS 0.85 ± 0.21 m/s, 6-min walk distance (6MWD) 305 ± 115 m, and physical activity level 1.28 ± 0.17, which is consistent with severe physical inactivity. The gait speeds within the time epochs 1-2, 3-4, and 5-6 min during the 6MWT were not significantly different: 1.01 ± 0.29 m/s, 0.98 ± 0.31 m/s, and 1.00 ± 0.31 m/s, respectively. 4MGS had a significant correlation with 6MWD (r = 0.70, P <.001). 6MWD was the dominant variable for predicting 4MGS. Other significant predictors of 4MGS included dyspnea, self-efficacy, quality of life, and objectively measured physical activity. Conclusions: 4MGS is significantly and independently associated with 6MWD, and may serve as a reasonable simple surrogate for 6MWD in subjects with chronic lung disease. Gait speed was remarkably stable throughout the 6MWT, which supports the validity of an abbreviated walk test such as 4MGS.
- 6-min walk test
- Exercise capacity
- Gait speed
- Interstitial lung disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine