Sudomotor Function as a Tool for Cardiorespiratory Fitness Level Evaluation: Comparison with Maximal Exercise Capacity

Raisanen A, Eklund J, Calvet JH, Tuomilehto J.

Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014;11:5839-48.

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Physical inactivity is a modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular (CV) and metabolic disorders. VO2max is the best method to assess cardio-respiratory fitness level but it is poorly adopted in clinical practice. Sudomotor dysfunction may develop early in metabolic diseases. This study aimed at comparing established CV risk evaluation techniques with SUDOSCAN; a quick and non-invasive method to assess sudomotor function. A questionnaire was filled-in; physical examination and VO2max estimation using a maximal test on a bicycle ergometer were performed on active Finish workers. Hand and foot electrochemical skin conductance (ESC) were measured to assess sudomotor function. Subjects with the lowest fitness level were involved in a 12 month training program with recording of their weekly physical activity and a final fitness level evaluation. Significant differences in BMI; waist and body fat were seen according to SUDOSCAN risk score classification. Correlation between the risk score and estimated VO2max was r = −0.57, p < 0.0001 for women and −0.48, p < 0.0001 for men. A significant increase in estimated VO2max, in hand and foot ESC and in risk score was observed after lifestyle intervention and was more important in subjects with the highest weekly activity. SUDOSCAN could be used to assess cardio-metabolic disease risk status in a working population and to follow individual lifestyle interventions