Impact of exercise-related respiratory symptoms in adults with asthma: Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm Landmark National Survey

Allergy Asthma Proc. 2011 Nov-Dec;32(6):431-7. doi: 10.2500/aap.2011.32.3501.


An estimated 5-20% of the general population and up to 90% of people with asthma experience exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB). The EIB Landmark Survey is the first comprehensive study on exercise-related respiratory symptoms in the United States. Two surveys were conducted: the first surveyed adults (≥18 years) in the general public and the second surveyed adults with asthma or taking medications for asthma in the prior year. Parameters assessed included exercise-related respiratory symptoms, activity levels, and short-acting beta-antagonist (SABA) use. In the general public survey (n = 1085), 8% were currently diagnosed with asthma. However, 29% reported experiencing one or more of six respiratory-related symptoms during or immediately after exercising. In the EIB in adult asthma survey (n = 1001), although >80% of adults experienced one or more of six exercise-related respiratory symptoms, only 30.6% reported a diagnosis of EIB. Almost one-half (45.6%) of adults with asthma reported that they avoid physical activities because of symptoms. Despite symptoms, only 22.2% of respondents took SABAs before exercise "always" or "most of the time"; 36.3% took rescue medications after or during exercise. Exercise-related respiratory symptoms limit physical activities and negatively impact daily lives. However, adults in the United States lack awareness of EIB. Although many subjects stated that their asthma symptoms limit their physical activity, few adhered to treatment guidelines by using SABAs appropriately before exercising. Findings from this survey support the need for better communication about the proper evaluation and management of EIB in the community and in asthma patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asthma, Exercise-Induced / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology