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Medicina dello Sport 2008 June;61(2):167-77


language: English, Italian

Exercise induced bronchospasm in recreatio-nal athletes: prevalence and effects on physical performance

Yildiz Y. 1, Saka T. 2, Hazneci B. 3, Sekir U. 4, Aydin T. 1

1 Department of Sports Medicine, Gülhane Military Medical Academy, School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey 2 Department of Sports Medicine, Erciyes University School of Medicine, Kayseri, Turkey 3 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Gülhane Military Medical Academy, School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey 4 Department of Sports Medicine, Uludag University School of Medicine, Bursa, Turkey


Objective: The aim of this study was to find the prevalence of exercise induced bronchospasm (EIB) in recreational athletes and the impact of EIB on physical performance.
Methods: 214 male recreational athletes attending a physical education high school were enrolled in this study (age: 19.6±1.3 year, height: 177.1± 5.6 cm, weight: 71.1± 5.8 kg). The athletes were asked to exercise for 8 min on a treadmill at 80 % of their maximum heart rate (220-age) measured by a telemetry heart rate monitor. Following the exercise challenge, a spirometer was used for the spirometric tests. A subject was considered to have EIB, when the exercise-induced decrease in FEV1 was 15%, which is in accordance with existing guidelines. After this test 17 athletes were diagnosed with EIB, who composed the EIB group. 17 subjects randomly selected from non-EIB athletes were included into the control group.
We subjected all athletes to the maximal exercise test 2 days following the submaximal test. Maximal cardiorespiratory data were continuously measured during the maximal test on the treadmill “breath by breath” with a metabolic analyzer.
Results: We found that the point prevalence was 7.9% of EIB in recreational athletes. Maximal oxygen consumption, heart rate and maximal ventilation values were not significantly different between both groups (p>0.05). All spirometric values except pre-test FEV1 presented a statistically significant difference between EIB and control group (Table 5). FEV1, PEF and FVC values showed a statistically significant decrease following the spirometric test (p≤0.001). To the contrary, these values represented a significant increase following the spirometric test in the control group (FEV1: p≤0.05, PEF: p≤0.01, and FVC: p≤0.001).
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the aerobic capacity of recreational EIB athletes without any comcomitant disease is not adversely affected. The association between EIB and physical performance has to be investigated extensively in longitudinal studies.

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