Exercise-induced laryngeal obstructions: prevalence and symptoms in the general public

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2011 Sep;268(9):1313-9. doi: 10.1007/s00405-011-1612-0. Epub 2011 Apr 29.


Respiratory difficulties caused by exercise-induced laryngeal obstructions (EILOs) are reported with increasing frequency. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and symptoms of EILOs and their relation to airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). In total, 556 randomly selected youths in Copenhagen aged 14-24 years were invited over a 2-year period. The study included a mailed questionnaire and two visits: day 1 (an interview-based questionnaire, methacholine bronchial provocation test and physical exertion test); and day 2 [an exercise test with continuous laryngoscopic recordings (CLE test)]. The diagnosis of EILOs was based on the CLE test. In total, 237 answered the mailed questionnaire and 150 participated on day 1 whereof 98 participated on day 2 also. AHR was verified in 23 (4.1% of invitees) and EILOs in 42 (7.5% of invitees). Co-morbidity was verified in 6 cases (26.1% of verified AHR cases). No symptoms were found specific for either AHR or EILOs. The minimum prevalence of EILOs in this cohort was 7.5%. EILOs were verified in 26.1% of participants with AHR. Questionnaires could not differentiate between AHR and EILOs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anthropometry
  • Asthma, Exercise-Induced / diagnosis
  • Asthma, Exercise-Induced / epidemiology
  • Bronchial Provocation Tests
  • Causality
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laryngismus / diagnosis
  • Laryngismus / epidemiology*
  • Laryngoscopy / methods
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Distribution
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult