Whereas increased airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and airway inflammation are well documented in adult elite athletes, it remains uncertain whether the same airway changes are present in adolescents involved in elite sport.
To investigate airway responsiveness and airway inflammation in adolescent elite swimmers.
We performed a cross-sectional study on adolescent elite swimmers (n = 33) and 2 control groups: unselected adolescents (n = 35) and adolescents with asthma (n = 32). The following tests were performed: questionnaire, exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO), spirometry, induced sputum, methacholine challenge, eucapnic voluntary hyperpnea (EVH) test, and exhaled breath condensate pH.
There were no differences in FeNO, exhaled breath condensate pH, cellular composition in sputum, or prevalence of AHR to either EVH or methacholine among the 3 groups. When looking at airway responsiveness as a continuous variable, the swimmers were more responsive to EVH than unselected subjects, but less responsive to methacholine compared with subjects with asthma. We found no differences in the prevalence of respiratory symptoms between the swimmers and the unselected adolescents. There was no difference in FeNO, cellular composition of sputum, airway reactivity, or prevalence of having AHR to methacholine and/or EVH between swimmers with and without respiratory symptoms.
Adolescent elite swimmers do not have significant signs of airway damage after only a few years of intense training and competition. This leads us to believe that elite swimmers do not have particularly susceptible airways when they take up competitive swimming when young, but that they develop respiratory symptoms, airway inflammation, and AHR during their swimming careers.
"On the other hand, data in elite swimmers do suggest an important pro-inflammatory role played by environmental exposure to chlorine-derived compounds. Some time, however, might be required for airway cell changes to develop, as suggested by the negative results recently found in adolescent elite swimmers (Pedersen et al., 2008). Adult elite swimmers at rest, about half of them hyperreactive to methacholine, showed more eosinophils and neutrophils in induced sputum than sedentary subjects, with some evidence of inflammatory activation (Helenius et al., 1998a). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Swimming is often recommended as a sport because of its several benefits to health. It is also recommended in asthmatic children as a sport with a lower potential for prompting exercise-induced asthma. However, there is growing interest in the potentially harmful effects of repeated respiratory tract exposure to chlorinated products and the problem of possible swimming-related health hazards is gaining importance at international level. It is already known that acute exposure to chlorine gas as in swimming pool accidents causes lung damage and also that elite swimmers may have increased airway inflammation and bronchial hyperreactivity, probably as a result of repeated exposure to chlorine derivatives. Recently some studies have been conducted to investigate whether repeated exposure to chlorine by-products in recreational swimmers might also lead to lung damage. In addition, some studies have been lately published on the even more debated issue of the possible harmful effects of baby swimming on respiratory health. This article reviews and discusses data from the literature on the effects of chlorine derivatives in different categories of people routinely attending swimming pools. The need for longitudinal studies is emphasized to definitely clarify any role of chlorinated swimming pool attendance in the development of asthma in recreational swimmers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This year's summary focuses on recent advances in pediatric asthma as reported in Journal publications in 2008. New National Asthma Education and Prevention Program asthma guidelines were released in 2007 with a special emphasis on asthma control. Attention was redirected to methods that could reduce impairment, specifically symptom control, and minimize risk, including exacerbations. Journal theme issues in 2008 focused on several relevant asthma topics including asthma exacerbations, exercise-induced bronchospasm, asthma and obesity, and occupational asthma. This review highlights Journal articles and related articles that reinforce principles of the guidelines and also direct us to new information that will advance asthma care for children. A major step forward will be finding ways to implement the asthma guidelines.
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 02/2009; 123(1):28-34. DOI:10.1016/j.jaci.2008.11.002 · 11.48 Impact Factor
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