Physical fitness and quality of life in adolescents with asthma and
fixed airflow obstruction
Asthma is a disease characterized by reversible bronchoconstriction, but
some subjects develop fixed airflow obstruction (FAO). Subjects with FAO
present more asthma symptoms and may have increased sedentary behavior;
however, the effect of FAO on aerobic fitness and physical activity
levels (PAL) remains poorly understood. Aim: To compare adolescents with
asthma and FAO and adolescents with asthma without FAO in terms of
aerobic fitness, PAL, muscle strength, and health-related quality of
life (HRQoL). Methods: This cross-sectional study included adolescents
with asthma, both sexes, and aged 12 to 18 years. They were divided into
2 groups: FAO and non-FAO groups. The adolescents were diagnosed with
asthma in accordance with the Global Initiative for Asthma guidelines
and underwent optimal pharmacological treatment for at least 12 months.
FAO was diagnosed when FEV1/FVC ratio was below the lower limit of
normal range after optimal treatment. Aerobic fitness, PAL, peripheral
and respiratory muscle strength, and HRQoL were evaluated. Results: No
significant differences were observed between FAO and non-FAO groups
regarding the peak oxygen uptake (34.6±8.5 vs. 36.0±8.4 mLO2/min/kg),
sedentary time (578±126 vs. 563±90 min/day), upper limb muscle strength
(29.1±5.9 vs. 28.1±5.7 kgf), lower limb muscle strength (42.8±8.6 vs.
47.6±9.6 kgf), or HRQoL (5.1±1.3 vs. 4.7±1.4 score)
(p>0.05). However, the FAO group exhibited a higher maximal
expiratory pressure than did the non-FAO group (111.5±15.5 vs.
101.5±15.0 cmH2O, respectively). Conclusion: Our results suggest that
FAO does not impair aerobic fitness, PAL, peripheral muscle strength, or
HRQoL in adolescents with asthma. Furthermore, adolescents with asthma
were physically deconditioned.