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Effects of dry and humid climates on exercise-induced asthma in children and preadolescents

  • Oded Bar-Or
    Correspondence
    Reprint requests to: O. Bar-Or, M.D., Department of Research and Sports Medicine, Wingate Institute for Physical Education and Sport, Wingate Post Office, Israel 42902.
    Affiliations
    From the Department of Research and Sports Medicine, Wingate Institute, Wingate Post Office, Israel

    From the Department of Pediatric Allergy, Hasharon Hospital Wingate Post Office, Israel
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  • Ittai Neuman
    Affiliations
    From the Department of Research and Sports Medicine, Wingate Institute, Wingate Post Office, Israel

    From the Department of Pediatric Allergy, Hasharon Hospital Wingate Post Office, Israel
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  • Raphael Dotan
    Affiliations
    From the Department of Research and Sports Medicine, Wingate Institute, Wingate Post Office, Israel

    From the Department of Pediatric Allergy, Hasharon Hospital Wingate Post Office, Israel
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      Abstract

      Among factors which possibly influence the responses of asthmatic children to exercise, climate has received little attention. This study was performed to determine whether the level of air humidity is a factor to be considered. Twenty asthmatic (extrinsic perennial) girls and boys, 6 to 14 yr of age, with unverified history of exercise-induced asthma (EIA) took part. They rested and exercised in a climatic chamber in dry (25% relative humidity) and humid (90%) sessions at 25 ° to 26 °C. One to three weeks separated the sessions, the order of which was counterbalanced. No changes in pulmonary functions (FVC, FEV1.0, MMEF, MBC) were found following a sitting period of 60 min in either climate. Five and ten minutes following the treadmill run, however, bronchoconstriction was distinctly more pronounced in the dry than in the humid climate. Exercise heart rate and the subjective rating of effort were not affected by climate. It was concluded that, under the above experimental conditions, EIA is more likely in dry air than in humid air, possibly due to heat loss at the airway mucosa caused by evaporation. High humidity of inspired air could be the reason why EIA is less prevalent in swimming, as compared with other modes of exercise.
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