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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS

Rivista di Medicina, Traumatologia e Psicologia dello Sport


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Original articles  EPIDEMIOLOGY AND CLINICAL MEDICINE


The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2006 June;46(2):298-306

lingua: Inglese

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


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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.

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