Medical Study Proves Wearing A Mask During 6-Minute Walk 'Significantly Increased Dyspnea'

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Are masks safe?

During walking or other exercise

Surgical mask wearers had significantly increased dyspnea after a 6-minute walk than non-mask wearers.

Introduction: Six minutes walking test (6MWT) is regularly used in pulmonology. To minimize the risk of cross-infection, some patients must wear surgical mask at rest and sometimes during exercise.

Aim of the study: To evaluate the effect of wearing a surgical mask during 6MWT in healthy subjects.

Material and method: It is a prospective study on 44 healthy subjects. After a first 6MWT for training, they performed randomly two 6MWT: with or without a surgical mask. Distance and dyspnea, heart rate and saturation variations were recorded.

Results: Distance was not modified by the mask (P=0.99). Dyspnea variation was significantly higher with surgical mask (+5.6 vs. +4.6; P<0.001) and the difference was clinically relevant. No difference was found for the variation of other parameters.

Conclusion: Wearing a surgical mask modifies significantly and clinically dyspnea without influencing walked distance.

Keywords: Dyspnoea; Dyspnée; Masque de soins; Surgical mask; Test de marche; Walking test


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