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Park -

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Journal of Applied Physiology





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Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is an atherosclerotic disease that is associated with poor vascular function, walking impairment, and reduced quality of life. Land-based exercise therapy (LBET) is frequently recommended to improve walking and reduce symptoms. Recently, evidence has suggested that heated-water exercise therapy (HWET) is an effective intervention for PAD. However, the efficacy of LBET versus HWET in PAD patients had not been elucidated. Therefore, we sought to compare effects of LBET with HWET on cardiovascular function, exercise tolerance, physical function, and body composition in PAD patients. PAD patients (n = 53) were recruited and randomly assigned to a LBET group (n = 25) or HWET group (n = 28). The LBET group performed treadmill walking, whereas the HWET group performed walking in heated water for 12 wk. Leg (legPWV) and brachial-to-ankle arterial stiffness (baPWV), blood pressure (BP), ankle-brachial index (ABI), 6-min walking distance (6MWD), claudication onset time (COT), physical function, and body composition were assessed before and after 12 wk. There were significant group-by-time interactions (P < 0.05) for legPWV, BP, 6MWD, COT, body composition, and resting metabolic rate (RMR). Both groups significantly reduced (P < 0.05) legPWV, BP, and body fat percentage, and HWET measures were significantly lower than LBET measures. Both groups significantly increased 6MWD, COT, and RMR, and HWET group measures were significantly greater than LBET measures. A time effect was noted for baPWV reduction in both groups (P < 0.05). These results suggest that both LBET and HWET improve cardiovascular function, exercise tolerance, and body composition, and HWET showed considerably greater improvements compared with LBET in patients with PAD.


This is the accepted manuscript of an article published in the Journal of Applied Physiology on March 13, 2020 and can be accessed at