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A high incidence of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction in triathletes of the Swiss National Team
  1. Bruno H. Knoepfli (chefarzt{at}
  1. Alpine Children's Hospital Davos, Switzerland
    1. Mona Luke-Zeitoun (monazeitoun{at}
    1. Alpine Children's Hospital Davos, Switzerland
      1. Serge P. von Duvillard (skyblue{at}
      1. Human Performance Laboratory, Texas A&M University-Commerce, United States
        1. Adrian Burki
        1. Swiss Triathlon Association (tri), Switzerland
          1. Christian Bachlechner
          1. Alpine Children's Hospital Davos, Switzerland
            1. Heidi Keller
            1. Alpine Children's Hospital Davos, Switzerland


              The aim of this study was to assess the progression of bronchial reactivity (BR), incidence of bronchial hyperreactivity (BH), the exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), and asthma in triathletes over 2 years. Subjects included 7 athletes from the Swiss National Triathlon Team (age: 24.3±4.8 yrs), who initially were not asthmatics, not treated with anti-asthmatic medication, and who performed on the international level for over 3 consecutive years (2001-2003). To assess BR, BH, and EIB, subjects ran on a 400m track for 8 min at intensities of the anaerobic threshold. Tests were conducted in ambient temperatures of 4.4±2.8, -8.8±2.4 and 3.6±1.5°C, and humidity of 52±16, 83±13 and 93±2%. FEV1 was measured prior to, and at 2, 5, 10, and 15 min after EIB, and 5 min after inhalation of a β2-agonist. 2 methods were used to calculate the incidence: 1) the standard assessment and 2) extrapolation of the decrease in FEV1 to the BH limit. BR increased significantly in 7 athletes (FEV1: year p=0.04, year X EIB p=0.002, and EIB p<0.001). Within 2 years, BR increased significantly and even reached BH in some athletes. Three athletes exhibited BH at an increase of 22% each year. After extrapolating the decrease in FEV1 in all 7 athletes, the limit of 10% by definition for BH was determined to occur within 1.77 to 4.68 years, resulting in 21-57 % of athletes with newly developed BH per year. Thus, athletes developed EIB rather quickly, reflecting a rate increase 195-286 times above the normal rate for asthma.

              • bronchial hyperreactivity
              • competitive sport
              • exercise-induced bronchoconstriction
              • national team

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