The sit-to-stand (STS) test and handgrip strength tests close an “important gap” in the evaluation of exercise capacity and prognosis of COPD patients, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Researchers asked more than 400 COPD patients to perform the STS test, in which patients repeatedly sit and stand as many times as possible in a minute. The team discovered that every five additional repetitions were associated with a 42% decrease in the risk for death.

The team found the STS test alone to be a stronger predictor of 2-year mortality than body mass index, FEV1, dyspnoea and handgrip strength.

Still, the latter was proved to be somewhat predictive of mortality. Investigators believe it could serve as a useful first test to identify patients who could require more extensive exercise testing.