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The Impact of Exercise-induced Bronchoconstriction on Exercise Performance: 639May 31 9:45 AM 10:00 AM

Brukner, Peter FACSM; Holzer, Karen; Davies, Louise; Irving, Lou

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2007 - Volume 39 - Issue 5 - p S30
doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000272998.16528.d8
C-12 Free Communication/Slide - Cardiovascular/ Pulmonary: MAY 31, 2007 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM ROOM: 236

1University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

2Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.


Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), denned as a transitory increase in airways resistance, is a common condition occurring in athletes. Issues with mis-diagnosis and inappropriate treatment, often mean that a large number of athletes participate in their sporting activities with poorly controlled EIB. The actual impact of untreated EIB on exercise performance is not known.

PURPOSE: To assess the impact of untreated EIB on exercise performance.

METHODS: 12 amateur level Australian rules football players (mean age 24: range: 20 −27 years) of similar exercise training levels, 9 with newly diagnosed EIB and 3 controls (C), were recruited to partake in the study. Each of the subjects underwent baseline VO2 max and field running tests. The EIB group were then placed on 6 weeks of asthma preventive medications and continued to partake in similar levels of exercise training as the untreated controls. At the completion of the 6 week medication stage, whilst the athletes were still on the medications, the VO2 max and field running tests were repeated in both groups.

RESULTS: There was no significant difference in the baseline VO2max test (EIB: 43.1 ±5.5, C: 41.6 ±6.0 ml/kg/min), or the running time (EIB: 12.28 ± 1.7, C: 13.3 ±0.8 min) between the EIB and control groups. After 6 weeks of treatment there was a significant improvement in the VO2max in the EIB but not the control group (EIB: 47.5 ±2.1 change: 4.31 ±4.0, C: 41.3 ± 3.6 change: −0.33 ± 3.7 ml/kg/min, p<0.05). There was no difference in the change in running times between the two study populations (EIB: 12.2 ± 1.3, change: 0.13, C: 12.9 ± 1.1 change: 0.42 ± 0.43 min).

CONCLUSIONS: EIB, when untreated, does appear to reduce the exercise performance of athletes at a higher levels of exercise intensity. This has important implications for those partaking in exercise at all levels of competition.

© 2007 American College of Sports Medicine