The prevalence of airways hyperresponsiveness in members of an exercise training facility

Edward T. Mannix*, Melanie Roberts, Daniel P. Fagin, Brandie Reid, Mark O. Farber

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Athletes have a high prevalence (11-50%) of exercise-induced asthma, which may be caused by the hyperventilation accompanying repetitive bouts of strenuous exercise. We hypothesized that recreational exercisers would display a similar trend. Eucapnic voluntary hyperventilation (EVH) bronchoprovocation (breathing 21% O2, 5% CO2, and 74% N2 at 60% of MVV for 5 minutes) was performed to determine the prevalence of airways hyperresponsiveness (AHR) in adults (n = 212, 146 males, mean ± standard deviation, age 32 ± 10 years) who exercised regularly (10 ± 10 years, 31 ± 28% of their lives): none had a previous diagnosis of asthma. AHR was defined by at least a 10%, 20%, or 25% decline in FEV1, FEF25-75, or PEFR, respectively, by spirometry at 1, 5, 10, and 15 minutes post-EVH. Forty-one of 212 (19%) tested positive for AHR: 20 of 41 (49%) were positive by FEV1, 28 of 41 (68%) by FEF25-75, and 27 of 41 (66%) by PEFR. Comparing responders with nonresponders: pre-EVH lung function was equivalent, except for FEV1, which was reduced (p < 0.05) in responders (96 ± 13 vs. 102 ± 12% predicted). Mean maximal negative deflections for responders were: for FEV1, -17 ± 7%; FEF25-75, -31 ± 10%; PEFR, -38 ± 11%. Ranges of decline for responders were: FEV1, -10 to -33%; FEF25-75, -20 to -59%; PEFR, -25- to -70%. We conclude that in these regular exercisers, the prevalence of AHR is high and comparable with some athletic populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-355
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Asthma
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2003


  • Asthma
  • Bronchial hyperreactivity
  • Exercise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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