Reference Equations for the Six-Minute Walk Distance in the Healthy Chinese Han Population, Aged 18–30 Years
BACKGROUND The six-minute walk test has been widely used in people with chronic cardiopulmonary disorders as an outcome assessment with regards to therapeutic or prognostic determinants. This study was undertaken to determine the six-minute walk distance (6MWD) in a sample of healthy Koreans and to create a reference equation. We also compared the 6MWD of our cohort with previously published equations. METHODS Two hundred fifty-nine healthy subjects (95 males) aged 22-59 years performed two walking tests using a standardized protocol. 6MWD was defined as the greatest distance achieved from the two tests. The effect of anthropometrics on the 6MWD was also investigated. RESULTS The average 6MWD was 598.5±57.92 m, with significantly longer distances by males (628.9±59.51 m) than females (580.9±47.80 m) (p<0.001). Age, height, weight, and body mass index were significantly correlated with 6MWD in univariate analysis. Stepwise multiple regression showed height to be single independent predictor of 6MWD (r(2)=0.205, p<0.001). The reference equations derived in Caucasian and North African populations tend to overestimate the distance walked by Korean subjects, while Asian equations underestimate it. CONCLUSION The average 6MWD in these Korean populations was 600 m. The regression equation revealed that individual's height was the most significant predictor of distance, explaining 20.5% of the distance variance.