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Original articles  EPIDEMIOLOGY AND CLINICAL MEDICINE


Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2009 June;49(2):187-93

language: English

The aerobic fitness of substance abusers voluntary participating in a rehabilitation project

Mamen A. 1, Martinsen E. W. 2,3

1 Faculty of Teacher Education and Sport Sogn og Fjordane University College, Sogndal, Norway
2 Department of Research and Education Aker University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
3 Institute of Psychiatry, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway


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Aim. The aim of the study was to assess the physical fitness in a group of substance abusers using direct, maximal testing and testing of blood lactate threshold.
Methods. Forty-seven patients, 34 males and 13 females, with substance dependence, taking part in a rehabilitation project, served as subjects. Mean age and SD were 30.5±9.2 years for the males and 29.7±10.2 for the females. They performed a lactate threshold test and a maximal oxygen uptake test (V.O2max). The threshold test was performed on either a cycle ergometer or a treadmill, the V.O2max test was the Bruce protocol.
Results. The range in aerobic fitness was large, and the mean result of aerobic power (V.O2max) was somewhat higher than previously estimated in groups of similar age: 39±10 and 31±8 mL.kg-1.min-1 for males and females, respectively. The mean heart rate at blood lactate threshold did not differ between the sexes and was 74±7% of maximal heart rate (HRmax). There was no statistical difference between the users of different intoxicants on either V.O2max or lactate threshold.
Conclusion. This group of substance abusers did show a large range in physical fitness. The maximal oxygen uptake was better than previously assessed in groups of substance dependent people using indirect methods. The primary intoxicant had no significant influence on the fitness.

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