Original article| Volume 93, ISSUE 11, P1924-1929, November 2012

Peak Oxygen Consumption in Older Adults With a Lower Limb Amputation


      Wezenberg D, de Haan A, Faber WX, Slootman HJ, van der Woude LH, Houdijk H. Peak oxygen consumption in older adults with a lower limb amputation.


      To investigate whether the aerobic capacity of older adults who underwent a lower limb amputation is associated with the presence, cause (traumatic or vascular), and level of amputation (transtibial or transfemoral).


      Cross-sectional descriptive.


      Human motion laboratory at a rehabilitation center.


      Older subjects (n=36) who underwent lower limb amputation and age-matched, able-bodied controls (n=21). All subjects were able to walk for a minimum of 4 minutes.


      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measure

      Peak oxygen consumption (Vo2peak) was measured using open-circuit respirometry while performing a discontinuous, graded, 1-legged, peak cycle exercise test.


      After correcting for age, body mass index, and sex, the multiple linear regression analysis revealed that subjects who underwent amputation had a 13.1% lower aerobic capacity compared with able-bodied controls (P=.021). Differentiation among etiologies revealed that subjects with a vascular amputation had a lower Vo2peak of 29.1% compared with able-bodied controls (P<.001), whereas traumatic amputees did not differ from able-bodied controls (P=.127). After correcting for etiology, no association between level of amputation and Vo2peak was found (P=.534).


      Older adults who underwent an amputation because of vascular deficiency had a lower aerobic capacity compared with able-bodied controls and people with a traumatic amputation. The level of amputation was not associated with Vo2peak.

      Key Words

      List of Abbreviations:

      BMI (body mass index), ECG (electrocardiogram), HRpeak (peak heart rate), HR%predicted (percentage of the predicted peak heart rate reached), RERpeak (peak respiratory exchange ratio), Vo2peak (peak oxygen consumption)
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