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Keywords:

  • pacemaker patients;
  • exercise performance;
  • bicycle ergometry;
  • treadmill ergometry

LANGENFELD, H., ET AL.: The Six-Minute Walk—An Adequate Exercise Test for Pacemaker Patients? In many pacemaker patients bicycle and treadmill ergometry are not practicable. As an alternative, we performed a 6-minute walk on a 20-m corridor in 97 pacemaker patients, who were asked to walk as far as possible determining their speed by themselves. Results were compared with those of bicycle ergometry in 42 of these patients and with treadmill exercise of a group of 92 other pacemaker patients. In the 6-minute walk, performance and maximal heart rate were slightly lower (49 ± 18 W; 96 ± 23 beats/min) than in bicycle (57 ± 16 W; 110 ± 26 beats/min) and treadmill ergometry (50 ± 37 W; 102 ± 35 beats/min). A good correlation was found between walking and bicycling (r = 0.74) and in subgroups of patients with different pacemaker indications. All patients preferred the walk to bicycle ergometry considering it to be more related to daily physical activity. In conclusion, a 6-minute walk is a simple and physiological exercise test for nearly all pacemaker patients with good correlation to other types of exercise. It seems to be preferable to other tests because of its better acceptance and practicability.