Exercise-induced bronchospasm in children with asthma in the United States: results from the Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm Landmark Survey

Allergy Asthma Proc. 2011 Nov-Dec;32(6):425-30. doi: 10.2500/aap.2011.32.3502.


Despite the availability of effective therapies, uncontrolled asthma remains a common problem. Previous large surveys suggest that exercise-related respiratory symptoms may be a significant element of uncontrolled asthma. The Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm (EIB) Landmark Survey is the first comprehensive, national survey evaluating EIB awareness and impact among the general public, asthma patients, and health care providers. This study was designed to evaluate the prevalence and impact of exercise-related respiratory symptoms in children (aged 4-17 years) with asthma. A national survey was conducted with parents of 516 children diagnosed with asthma or taking medications for asthma in the prior year. The majority of parents reported that their child experienced one or more exercise-related respiratory symptom and almost one-half (47.4%) experienced four or more symptoms. Most commonly reported symptoms were coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Respondents reported that asthma limited their child's ability to participate either "a lot" or "some" in sports (30%), other outdoor activities (26.3%), and normal physical exertion (20.9%). Only 23.1% of children with exercise-related respiratory symptoms were reported to take short-acting beta-agonists such as albuterol "always" or "most of the time" before exercising. Exercise-related respiratory symptoms among pediatric asthma patients are common and substantially limit the ability of children to participate normally and perform optimally in physical activities. Such symptoms may reflect uncontrolled underlying asthma that should be evaluated and treated with appropriate controller medications. Despite the availability of preventative therapy, many children do not use short-acting bronchodilators before exercise as recommended in national guidelines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Asthma, Exercise-Induced / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology