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Keywords:

  • asthma;
  • children;
  • exercise;
  • physical activity

Abstract

To establish whether asthma affects physical activity levels in children (aged 7–10 years) we evaluated physical activity levels in children with undiagnosed asthma (UDA), diagnosed asthma (DA), and healthy controls (HCs). A cross-sectional community-based study was performed which included a parental questionnaire on their child's respiratory health, and testing of airway reversibility and bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR). DA was defined as the parents' confirmation of a physician's diagnosis of asthma in the past 12 months. UDA was defined by asthma symptoms combined with airway reversibility or BHR in children without a physician's diagnosis of asthma. Physical activity was measured during 5 days with an accelerometer and a diary, and with the habitual activity estimation scale which reviews the physical activity during the past 2 weeks. The final study population comprised 1614 children of whom 81 (5%) had DA, 130 (8%) UDA, and 202 HCs. Baseline FEV1 % was lowest in children with UDA (UDA FEV1 94% predicted, DA FEV1 98% predicted, HCs FEV1 100% predicted). Using the three methods, no differences were found in the physical activity between children with UDA, DA, and HCs. Childhood asthma does not appear to be associated with a decreased level of daily physical activity in our study population. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2007; 42:1018–1023. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.