HAPI Fit: An Exercise Intervention to Improve Peak Aerobic Capacity in Young Adults Born Very Preterm

Camille Bastien Tardif, Marie Eve Mathieu, Maxime Caru, A. M.Y. Al-Simaani, Camille Girard-Bock, Anik Cloutier, Mickael K. Stickland, Anne Monique Nuyt, Thuy M.A.I. Luu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction Individuals born preterm have reduced aerobic capacity, which could be related to impaired organ development. Their capacity to improve aerobic capacity with exercise training could therefore be limited, but this remains unknown. We aimed to test an exercise intervention to improve cardiorespiratory fitness in adults born preterm. Methods Twenty-one very preterm and 37 full-term individuals aged 18-33 yr took part in a 14-wk supervised exercise intervention of cardiovascular, resistance, and flexibility training (two group and one individual sessions per week). Adherence and compliance to intervention were recorded. Primary outcome was change in peak oxygen consumption (peak VO2) measured before and after the intervention. Within- and between-group differences were estimated using nonparametric tests. Results Of 219 eligible individuals, 58 were enrolled and 14 participants dropped out over the course of the intervention. Among the 44 who completed the intervention, mean adherence was 82% and 66% for group and individual sessions, respectively. Compliance with training requirement varied between 71% and 100%. There was no difference in adherence between the preterm and full-term groups. Because only one preterm male met the adherence criteria, subsequent analyses were done exclusively on females. Both the term and preterm groups achieved higher peak VO2 after the intervention [term = +4.2 (SD 4.3) mL·min-1·kg-1, P < 0.01; preterm = +4.7 (2.9) mL·min-1·kg-1, P < 0.01]. There was no between-group difference in the response to the intervention (P = 0.729). Conclusions Recruitment and adherence to an exercise intervention are challenging. Results could indicate improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness in young women born preterm after current exercise program. Adaptation of this intervention is needed for wider uptake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-52
Number of pages9
JournalMedicine and science in sports and exercise
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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