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Physical fitness levels and moderators in people with epilepsy: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Davy Vancampfort, Philip B. Ward, Brendon Stubbs

Original languageEnglish
Article number106448
JournalEpilepsy and Behavior
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019

King's Authors


Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is a modifiable risk factor for mental and physical chronic conditions and premature mortality. Cardiorespiratory fitness levels and moderators among people living with epilepsy are unknown. The aim of the current meta-analysis was to (1) determine mean CRF in people living with epilepsy and compare levels with age- and gender-matched healthy controls (HCs), and (2) explore moderators of CRF. Major electronic databases were searched systematically for articles reporting CRF expressed as maximum or peak oxygen uptake (ml/min/kg). A random effects meta-analysis calculating the pooled mean CRF including subgroup- and meta-regression analyses was undertaken. Across 4 studies, the CRF level was 31.4 ml/kg/min (95% confidence interval [CI] = 27.3 to 35.5) (n = 121; mean age = 29–43 years). Compared with age- and gender-matched controls (n = 39), in people with epilepsy (n = 39), CRF levels were 4.9 ml/kg/min (95%CI = − 5.9 to − 3.9) lower (P < 0.001). Cardiorespiratory fitness levels obtained via maximal tests were significantly (P < 0.001) lower than obtained via submaximal tests. Future research should explore underlying mechanisms for the observed impairment in CRF in people with epilepsy.

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