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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS
A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Sports Psychology
Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,111
Original articles EPIDEMIOLOGY AND CLINICAL MEDICINE
The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2006 June;46(2):298-306
Testing of pulmonary function in a professional cycling team
Medelli J. 1, Lounana J. 1, Messan F. 1, Menuet J.-J. 1, Petitjean M. 1
1 Unit of Biology of the Effort and Sports Medicine University Hospital Center, Amiens, France
2 Department of Functional Explorations of the Nervous System University Hospital Center, Amiens, France
Aim. Asthma affecting elite athletes has been studied mainly in subjects practicing winter sports. The aim of our study was to test the pulmonary function in order to evaluate bronchial hyper-responsiveness prevalence in a team of 25 male professional cyclists (27.9±3.9 years old with a V.O2max equal to 69.9±6.6 mL.min-1.kg-1).
Methods. Using a questionnaire that queried the presence or absence of asthma history or common symptoms of exercise induced bronchospasm, 72% of the subjects had upper airway or bronchial symptoms. Using a pneumotachograph, we recorded a forced flow-volume curve at rest, after a maximal exercise test with ambient air, and after β2-agonist inhalation, then during a methacholine challenge.
Results. In our study, 52% of the subjects showed clinical symptoms associated with bronchial responsiveness during methacholine test, a proportion which is much higher than the average population (3-20%). However, ERS-ATS pulmonary function testing criteria at rest (reduced FEV1, FEV1/FVC, FEF25-75%) were not fulfilled by any of them. In the asthmatic group, O2max was significantly higher (70.5±6 vs 68.6±8.2 mL.min-1.kg-1, P<0.05). This remained true for submaximal loads suggesting that ventilation energy cost related to bronchial hyper-responsiveness was also higher.
Conclusion. We have reported in this study that professional cyclists have a far higher prevalence of bronchial hyper-responsiveness than the average population, which can be regarded as a real health issue.