n International SportMed Journal - A workload equation for a bicycle ergometer is not sufficient to elicit exercise-induced bronchoconstriction in athletes : original research article

Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1528-3356



: Elite athletes often experience exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB). However, this generally occurs during long-duration, repetitive, high-intensity exercise in dry air. Respiratory symptoms and laboratory tests are not adequate to predict and to diagnose EIB in athletes. Establishing the level of exercise intensity necessary to induce bronchoconstriction is important in both athletes and sedentary subjects. : The study attempted to evaluate the heart rate responses of seventeen male athletes and eighteen male sedentary subjects by using a target workload equation for a bicycle ergometer. : An experimental study, using human subjects, was designed. : Seventeen volunteer male elite athletes and eighteen male sedentary subjects participated in the study. Subjects performed an exercise challenge test on an electromagnetically braked bicycle ergometer. The equation used to establish the target workload was in watts = 53.76 x measured forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) - 11.07. : 88.2% of the athletes and 72.2% of the sedentary subjects reported at least one symptom of EIB. The difference between the percentage of maximal heart rate achieved in four minutes by athletes (81.4%) and sedentary subjects (86.3%) was statistically significant, but 5 of 18 sedentary subjects could not reach the target workload by the fourth minute. Only 1 of the 18 sedentary subjects demonstrated decrements greater than 10% in FEV1. : This study demonstrated that a bicycle ergometer exercise challenge test using a workload equation is not suitable for EIB assessment for elite athletes because they cannot attain desired work intensity. It can be concluded that this equation may lead to a misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed athletic population.

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