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The Free Running Athletic Screening Test as a Screening Test for Exercise-Induced Asthma in High School

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As part of a multicenter study envisioned by the American College of Allergy Sports Committee to screen for exercise-induced asthma, 303 high school students, freshman and sophomore gym classes, completed a questionnaire concerning exercise-related asthma, chronic asthma, and atopy. The study group included 124 females (41%) and 179 males (59%) with an average and median age of 15 years and a range of 13–17 years, and included 99% Caucasian and 1% nonCaucasian students, all attending the same parochial high school. After obtaining informed consent, 112 (37%) agreed to a free running test with initial challenge on an outdoor cinder track during April–June 1995. All challenges were conducted between 8:00 A.M. and noon with relative humidity 59% and average temperature 15°C. The challenge consisted of 7 minutes of continuous running on the cinder track with a doubling of pulse rate to 160/min during the run. Peak expiratory flows were taken at baseline, 0, 5, and 10 minutes postexercise. Twenty nine of 112 (26%) of the students were initially assessed as positive challenges, defined as a 15% decline in peak flow following exercise on the first challenge. However, four students self-recovered; thus 25 of 112 (22%) were qualified as true positives. Of these 25, 20 (80%) agreed to be reexercised. Fourteen of 20 (70%) were positive, yielding a prevalence rate of 14/112 (12.5%). Sixteen of these 20 (80%) were then exercised a third time using spirometry pre- and postexercise. Eight were positive, yielding a prevalence rate of 8/112 (7%). The questionnaire correlated significantly with the challenge, particularly when read by section (p = 0.000001) rather than globally positive or negative (p = 0.00008), with a specificity of 64%, sensitivity of 94%, positive predictive value of 44%, and negative predictive value of 97%. In summary, inexpensive and familiar free-running tests can be a useful screening test to confirm the questionnaire which is sensitive (94%) in ruling in, but has low specificity (64%) in ruling out, exercise-induced asthma.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 1997

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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