Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of thoraxThoraxVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
Thorax. 1993 December; 48(12): 1218–1221.
PMCID: PMC464973

Is exercise testing useful in a community based asthma survey?


BACKGROUND--In hospital clinics exercise challenge is used as a simple, non-invasive, non-pharmacological test for asthma in childhood. Little is known of its value in a community setting. An exercise test was therefore evaluated as an adjunct to a respiratory questionnaire in the course of an asthma survey. METHODS--From a cohort of 4003 primary school children, 607 of 799 with respiratory symptoms answered a detailed respiratory questionnaire. From the same cohort 135 of 229 randomly selected asymptomatic children were also interviewed. A stratified selection of one in four of the children interviewed was then invited to take part in a six minute cold air enhanced exercise challenge test; 128 symptomatic and 26 asymptomatic children attended. RESULTS--Bronchial hyperreactivity, a fall of FEV1 > or = 10% at five, 10, or 15 minutes following the exercise challenge, was identified in 15 of 128 symptomatic children and in one of 26 asymptomatic children. Bronchial hyperreactivity was found in only one of three children with frequent shortness of breath and one of five with frequent wheeze. It was found in 13 of 58 children whose parents were aware of the diagnosis of asthma; in 10 of 26 children who were on regular prophylactic treatment; in only 11 of 70 children with a history of exercise induced symptoms; and seldom in children with mild symptoms. Gestational age and ventilator support in the neonatal period were significant predictors of bronchial hyperreactivity. CONCLUSIONS--Exercise testing enhanced by cold air adds very little to a well designed respiratory questionnaire in community studies of asthma in childhood.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (738K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Cropp GJ. Grading, time course, and incidence of exercise-induced airway obstruction and hyperinflation in asthmatic children. Pediatrics. 1975 Nov;56(5 PT-2):868–879. [PubMed]
  • Eggleston PA, Guerrant JL. A standardized method of evaluating exercise-induced asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1976 Sep;58(3):414–425. [PubMed]
  • Jones RS. Assessment of respiratory function in the asthmatic child. Br Med J. 1966 Oct 22;2(5520):972–975. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Bransford RP, McNutt GM, Fink JN. Exercise-induced asthma in adolescent gym class population. Int Arch Allergy Appl Immunol. 1991;94(1-4):272–274. [PubMed]
  • Terblanche E, Stewart RI. The prevalence of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction in Cape Town schoolchildren. S Afr Med J. 1990 Dec 15;78(12):744–747. [PubMed]
  • Strauss RH, McFadden ER, Jr, Ingram RH, Jr, Jaeger JJ. Enhancement of exercise-induced asthma by cold air. N Engl J Med. 1977 Oct 6;297(14):743–747. [PubMed]
  • Ninan TK, Russell G. Respiratory symptoms and atopy in Aberdeen schoolchildren: evidence from two surveys 25 years apart. BMJ. 1992 Apr 4;304(6831):873–875. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Dawson B, Illsley R, Horobin G, Mitchell R. A survey of childhood asthma in Aberdeen. Lancet. 1969 Apr 19;1(7599):827–830. [PubMed]
  • Hambidge KM, Silverman A. Pica with rapid improvement after dietary zinc supplementation. Arch Dis Child. 1973 Jul;48(7):567–568. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Davis GS, Brody AR, Craighead JE. Analysis of airspace and interstitial mononuclear cell populations in human diffuse interstitial lung disease. Am Rev Respir Dis. 1978 Jul;118(1):7–15. [PubMed]
  • Bierman EW, Kawabori I, Pierson WE. Incidence of exercise-induced asthma in children. Pediatrics. 1975 Nov;56(5 PT-2):847–850. [PubMed]
  • Kattan M, Keens TG, Mellis CM, Levison H. The response to exercise in normal and asthmatic children. J Pediatr. 1978 May;92(5):718–721. [PubMed]
  • Pierson WE, Bierman CW, Stamm SJ. Cycloergometer-induced bronchospasm. J Allergy. 1969 Mar;43(3):136–144. [PubMed]
  • Fourie PR, Joubert JR. Determination of airway hyper-reactivity in asthmatic children: a comparison among exercise, nebulized water, and histamine challenge. Pediatr Pulmonol. 1988 Jan-Feb;4(1):2–7. [PubMed]
  • Rona RJ, Gulliford MC, Chinn S. Effects of prematurity and intrauterine growth on respiratory health and lung function in childhood. BMJ. 1993 Mar 27;306(6881):817–820. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Thorax are provided here courtesy of BMJ Publishing Group