Objective: Exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB) is a reduction of 10% or more in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1), immediately to 30 minutes after exercise. EIB occurs in up to 56% of elite athletes, depending upon the sport examined. In this study, we aimed to investigate the prevalence of EIB in 8-18-year-old football players in Trabzon, Turkey.
Materials and Methods: Of the 1146 licensed football players, 246 were randomly selected, and 229 (93.1%) were exercise-tested. All participants were boys with a mean age of 14.4 ± 2.1 (8-18) years. FEV1 was measured before the exercise test (basal), and FEV1 measurements were repeated at 2, 5, 10, 15, and 30 min after exercise. Parents/children were also asked to complete a modified version of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) questionnaire form including questions on the atopic status of the family, food allergy, pet ownership, presence of cockroaches at home, heating methods of the house, and parental smoking.
Results: We observed a reduction in FEV1 of 10% or more after exercise in 22 (9.6%) children. The prevalence of EIB was significantly high in children who reported having current dry night coughs when compared with children who did not (28.6% vs. 7.7%, p= 0.008) and in children who reported food allergy when compared with those who did not (28.6% vs. 8.4%, p= 0.034).
Conclusions: Our results indicate that a substantial rate of EIB exists among 8-18-year-old football players in Trabzon, and suggest that active screening for EIB in children playing football may be indicated to improve both their health and athletic performance.