Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction in Tunisian elite athletes is underdiagnosed
Ridha Sallaoui1–3, Ines Zendah2, Habib Ghedira2, Mohcine Belhaouz3, Mourad Ghrairi3, Mohamed Amri3
1Issep Sfax, Unité de Recherche “Les déterminants psychoculturels et biologiques de l'accès à la haute performance sportive,” Sfax; 2Department of Lung Function Testing, Abderrahmen Mami Pneumo-Allergology Hospital, Department III, Tunis, Tunisia; 3Laboratoire de Physiologie de la Nutrition, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, El Manar 1060 Tunis, Tunisia
Abstract: Many studies have shown an increased risk of developing exercise-induced bronchoconstriction among the athletic population, particularly at the elite level. Subjective methods for assessing exercise-induced bronchoconstriction such as surveys and questionnaires have been used but have resulted in an underestimation of the prevalence of airway dysfunction when compared with objective measurements. The aim of the present study was to compare the prevalence of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction among Tunisian elite athletes obtained using an objective method with that using a subjective method, and to discuss the possible causes and implications of the observed discrepancy. As the objective method we used spirometry before and after exercise and for the subjective approach we used a medical history questionnaire. All of the recruited 107 elite athletes responded to the questionnaire about respiratory symptoms and medical history and underwent a resting spirometry testing before and after exercise. Post-exercise spirometry revealed the presence of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction in 14 (13%) of the elite athletes, while only 1.8% reported having previously been diagnosed with asthma. In conclusion, our findings indicate that medical history-based diagnoses of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction lead to underestimations of true sufferers.
Keywords: exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, elite athletes, self-reported asthma
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