Burn injury may have age-dependent effects on strength and aerobic exercise capacity in males

Eric Rivas, Kevin Sanchez, Janos Cambiaso-Daniel, Ileana L. Gutierrez, Joan Tran, David N. Herndon, Oscar E. Suman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Whether burn injury affects boys and men differently is currently unknown. To test the hypothesis that burned boys have lower exercise capacity and exercise training-induced responses compared with burned men, 40 young boys (12 ± 4 years, 149 ± 20 cm, 46 ± 18 kg) were matched to 35 adult men (33 ± 9 years, 174 ± 10 cm, 84 ± 16 kg) based on extent of burn injury (total body surface area burned, boys 46 ± 14% vs men 47 ± 30, P = .85) and length of hospital stay (boys 33 ± 23 vs men 41 ± 32 days, P = .23). Strength (peak torque) and cardiorespiratory fitness (peak VO2) were normalized to kg of lean body mass for group comparisons. Each group was also compared with normative age-sex matched values at discharge and after an aerobic and resistance exercise training (RET) program. A two-way factorial analysis of covariance assessed interaction and main effects of group and time. We found that boys and men showed similar pre-RET to post-RET increases in total lean (~4%) and fat (7%) mass (each P ≤ .008). Both groups had lower age-sex matched norm values at discharge for peak torque (boys 36%; men 51% of normative values) and peak VO2 (boys: 44; men: 59%; each P ≤ .0001). Boys strength were 13-15 per cent lower than men at discharge and after RET (main effect for group, P < .0001). Cardiorespiratory fitness improved to a greater extent in men (19%) compared with boys (10%) after the RET (group × time interaction, P = .011). These results show that at discharge and after RET, burn injury may have age-dependent effects and should be considered when evaluating efficacy and progress of the exercise program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)815-822
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 17 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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