ISSN: 1734-4948
Advances in Rehabilitation
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vol. 38
Original article

Pulmonary Functions in Relation to Physical Fitness in Children with β-Thalassemia

Esraa Elsayed Abaas
Faten Hassan Abdelazeim
1, 2
Manal Salah Abdel Wahab
Gehan Mosad Abd-Elmaksoud
1, 2
Mona Hassan Eltagui

  1. Department of Physical Therapy for Paediatrics, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt
  2. Department of Physical Therapy for Paediatrics, Faculty of Physical Therapy, 6 October University, Giza, Egypt
  3. Department of Hematology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Egypt
Advances in Rehabilitation, 2024, 38(1), 1–8
Online publish date: 2024/02/28
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Thalassemia, a genetic hemoglobinopathy, results from a defect in globin chain production. The morbidity associated with thalassemia can arise from the deleterious effects of ineffective erythropoiesis or the complications related to multiple transfusions. Accordingly, this study aims to examine the correlation between pulmonary function and physical fitness in children with β- thalassemia major.

Material and methods
This observational-correlation study was conducted between August 2022 to January 2023 at Abo EL-Reesh Al Mounira Hospital for children. The study included 34 children with β- thalassemia major of both sexes (17 boys and 17 girls) aged 6–10 years. The exclusion criteria included children with defined cardiovascular or respiratory disorders, renal failure, and recent thoraco-abdominal surgery or aneurysm. The pulmonary functions (including vital capacity (VC), maximal voluntary ventilation (MVV), forced expiratory volume in 1st s (FEV1), and peak expiratory flow (PEF) rate) were assessed using a spire spectrum neuro-soft spirometer. Health-related physical fitness as functional capacity was measured by a 6-min walk test while using the energy expenditure index (EEI) to determine energy expenditure. A paediatric balance scale was employed to measure skill-related fitness as balance.

The results revealed that a statistically significant positive correlation was observed between functional capacity and pulmonary functions as well as between balance and pulmonary functions in children with β- thalassemia major (p < 0.05).

Pulmonary function was significantly correlated with physical fitness in children with β-thalassemia, indicating the importance of pulmonary rehabilitation.


Functional capacity, Beta-thalassemia major, Balance, Respiratory function test

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