According to a new study, strong abdominal muscles may reduce fatigue and increase quality of life in COPD patients with chronic coughing.

The researchers studied 28 patients diagnosed with COPD. The patients were asked to complete the Leicester Cough Questionnaire (LCQ) to determine “symptom-specific quality of life.” Other assessment tools included the sit-ups test, the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and the Fatigue Impact Scale (FIS).

The participants were between 40 and 80 years old, and there were 22 men and 6 women. Each was referred for pulmonary rehabilitation and had been taking the same medication for three weeks. The researchers recorded “physical, physiological, and sociodemographic data,” including body mass index, smoking history, dyspnea, cough, and sputum symptoms, as well as the number of sit-ups each patient could perform in a 30-second period.

The LCQ scores were clearly correlated with the number of sit-ups the participants could perform. The researchers concluded, “In the present study, we have shown that lower cough-specific quality of life is associated with worse performance in daily living activities.” In addition, more coughing led to higher fatigue which is associated with higher levels of depression.

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