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Physical activity and bronchial hyperresponsiveness: European Community Respiratory Health Survey II
  1. Rafea Shaaban1,
  2. Bénédicte Leynaert1,
  3. David Soussan1,
  4. Josep M Antó2,
  5. Susan Chinn3,
  6. Roberto de Marco4,
  7. Judith Garcia-Aymerich2,
  8. Joachim Heinrich5,
  9. Christer Janson6,
  10. Deborah Jarvis7,
  11. Jordi Sunyer2,
  12. Cecilie Svanes8,
  13. Matthias Wjst6,
  14. Peter G Burney7,
  15. Françoise Neukirch1,
  16. Mahmoud Zureik1
  1. 1National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm), Unit 700 Epidemiology, Faculté de Médecine Xavier Bichat, Paris, France
  2. 2Institut Municipal d’Investigacio Medica, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
  3. 3Department of Public Health Sciences, King’s College London, London, UK
  4. 4Department of Medicine and Public Health, Division of Epidemiology and Statistics, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
  5. 5Institute of Epidemiology, GSF–National Research Center for Environment and Health, Neuherberg, Germany
  6. 6Respiratory Medicine and Allergology, University of Uppsala, Uppsala, Sweden
  7. 7Respiratory Epidemiology and Public Health Group, National Heart and Lung Institute, London, UK
  8. 8Department of Thoracic Medicine, Department of Medicine, Haukeland Hospital, Bergen, Norway
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Rafea Shaaban
    INSERM U700, Epidémiologie des Maladies Respiratoires, Faculté Xavier Bichat, BP 416, 16 rue Henri Huchard, 75018 Paris, France; shaaban{at}bichat.inserm.fr

Abstract

Background: Identification of the risk factors for bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) would increase the understanding of the causes of asthma. The relationship between physical activity and BHR in men and women aged 28.0–56.5 years randomly selected from 24 centres in 11 countries participating in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey II was investigated.

Methods: 5158 subjects answered questionnaires about physical activity and performed BHR tests. Participants were asked about the frequency and duration of usual weekly exercise resulting in breathlessness or sweating. BHR was defined as a decrease in forced expiratory volume in 1 s of at least 20% of its post-saline value for a maximum methacholine dose of 2 mg.

Results: Both frequency and duration of physical activity were inversely related to BHR. The prevalence of BHR in subjects exercising ⩽1, 2–3 and ⩾4 times a week was 14.5%, 11.6% and 10.9%, respectively (p<0.001). The corresponding odds ratios were 1.00, 0.78 (95% CI 0.62 to 0.99) and 0.69 (95% CI 0.50 to 0.94) after controlling for potential confounding factors. The frequency of BHR in subjects exercising <1 h, 1–3 h and ⩾4 h a week was 15.9%, 10.9% and 10.7%, respectively (p<0.001). The corresponding adjusted odds ratios were 1.00, 0.70 (95% CI 0.57 to 0.87) and 0.67 (95% CI 0.50 to 0.90). Physical activity was associated with BHR in all studied subgroups.

Conclusions: These results suggest that BHR is strongly and independently associated with decreased physical activity. Further studies are needed to determine the mechanisms underlying this association.

  • BHR, bronchial hyperresponsiveness
  • BMI, body mass index
  • ECRHS II, European Community Respiratory Health Survey II
  • FEV1, forced expiratory volume in 1 s
  • FVC, forced vital capacity
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Footnotes

  • Published Online First 22 November 2006

  • RS had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. Study concept and design: RS, BL, FN, and MZ. Data collection in local centres: BL, JA, RM, JH, CJ, JS, CS, MW, PB, and FN. Analysis and interpretation of data: RS, BL, DS, FN, and MZ. Drafting of the manuscript: RS, BL, FN, and MZ. Interpretation and presentation of the results: All authors. Study supervision: FN and MZ.

  • The coordination of ECRHS II was supported by the European Commission as part of their Quality of Life programme. The following bodies funded the local studies in ECRHS II in this article. Albacete—Fondo de Investigaciones Santarias (grant code: 97/0035-01, 99/0034-01, and 99/0034-02), Hospital Universitario de Albacete, Consejeria de Sanidad. Barcelona—Fondo de Investigaciones Santarias (grant code: 99/0034-01, and 99/0034-02), Red Respira (RTIC03/11 ISC IIF). Basel—Swiss National Science Foundation, Swiss Federal Office for Education & Science, Swiss National Accident Insurance Fund (SUVA). Bergen—Norwegian Research Council, Norwegian Asthma & Allergy Association (NAAF), Glaxo Wellcome AS, Norway Research Fund. Bordeaux—Institut Pneumologique d’Aquitaine. Erfurt—GSF–National Research Centre for Environment & Health, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (grant code FR 1526/1-1). Galdakao—Basque Health Department. Goteborg—Swedish Heart Lung Foundation, Swedish Foundation for Health Care Sciences & Allergy Research, Swedish Asthma & Allergy Foundation, Swedish Cancer & Allergy Foundation. Grenoble—Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique-DRC de Grenoble 2000 no. 2610, Ministry of Health, Direction de la Recherche Clinique, Ministere de l’Emploi et de la Solidarite, Direction Generale de la Sante, CHU de Grenoble, Comite des Maladies Respiratoires de l’Isere. Hamburg—GSF–National Reasearch Centre for Environment & Health, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (grant code MA 711/4-1). Ipswich and Norwich—National Asthma Campaign (UK). Huelva—Fondo de Investigaciones Santarias (FIS) (grant code: 97/0035-01, 99/0034-01, and 99/0034-02). Montpellier—Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique-DRC de Grenoble 2000 no. 2610, Ministry of Health, Direction de la Recherche Clinique, CHU de Grenoble, Ministere de l’Emploi et de la Solidarite, Direction Generale de la Sante, Aventis (France), Direction Régionale des Affaires Sanitaires et Sociales Languedoc-Roussillon. Oviedo—Fondo de Investigaciones Santarias (FIS) (grant code: 97/0035-01, 99/0034-01, and 99/0034-02). Paris—Ministere de l’Emploi et de la Solidarite, Direction Generale de la Sante, UCBPharma (France), Aventis (France), Glaxo France, Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique-DRC de Grenoble 2000 no. 2610, Ministry of Health, Direction de la Recherche Clinique, CHU de Grenoble. Pavia—Glaxo-SmithKline Italy, Italian Ministry of University and Scientific and Technological Research (MURST), Local University Funding for Research 1998 & 1999 (Pavia, Italy). Portland—American Lung Association of Oregon, Northwest Health Foundation, Collins Foundation, Merck Pharmaceutical. Reykjavik—Icelandic Research Council, Icelandic University Hospital Fund. Tartu—Estonian Science Foundation. Turin—ASL 4 Regione Piemonte (Italy), AOCTO/ICORMA Regione Piemonte (Italy), Ministero dell’Università edella Ricerca Scientifica (Italy), Glaxo Wellcome spa (Verona, Italy).Umeå—Swedish Heart Lung Foundation, Swedish Foundation for Health Care Sciences & Allergy Research, Swedish Asthma & Allergy Foundation, Swedish Cancer & Allergy Foundation. Uppsala—Swedish Heart Lung Foundation, Swedish Foundation for Health Care Sciences & Allergy Research, Swedish Asthma & Allergy Foundation, Swedish Cancer & Allergy Foundation. Verona—University of Verona; Italian Ministry of University and Scientific and Technological Research (MURST); Glaxo-SmithKline Italy.

  • Competing interests: None.

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