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EPIDEMIOLOGY AND CLINICAL MEDICINE
Rosenhagen A., Vogt L., Thiel C., Bernhörster M., Banzer W.
Department of Sports Medicine, J. W. Goethe University Frankfurt/Main, Frankfurt/M., Germany
AIM: Exercise induced asthma (EIA) common in endurance and other athletes limits physical activity. Although a correlation between recurrent childhood bronchitis and the development of asthma has been reported, its relation to EIA in adult athletes has not been assessed. The study evaluates the EIA risk after recurrent childhood wheezing (RCW) and its aggravating influence on the known risk factors outdoor and professional sports.
METHODS: To evaluate the effect of RCW on EIA, 570 multiple choice questionnaires were evaluated, assessing the history of RCW and the EIA occurrence.
The latter was defined either according to physician-derived diagnosis, by typical symptoms or by decrease of the 1-second forced expiratory volume after a 6-minute running test. Contingency tables and a logistic regression model were worked out to describe referring parameters of EIA incidence.
RESULTS: Almost one quarter of the athletes with RCW were attributed positive for EIA. Contingency calculations revealed a 2.6 times higher chance of symptoms of EIA after RCW which further increased in outdoor sports on a professional level.
The duration of sports participation, cold environment and self-limiting of symptoms are predicting factors of a higher risk of EIA, being responsible for 53% of the prevalence variance.
CONCLUSION: The results point towards a facilitating effect of recurrent affections of the respiratory tract in young age in addition to generally accepted factors of EIA in adults. For safe sports participation, the athlete, as well as involved caregivers (parents, coach) should have an adequate knowledge of EIA and prevention/intervention strategies like warming up or the use of inhalers.