Asthma is a chronic disease that may affect physical fitness, although its primary effects on exercise capacity, muscle strength, functionality and lifestyle, in children and adolescents, are still poorly understood. This study aimed to evaluate the differences in cardiorespiratory fitness, muscle strength, lifestyle, lung function, and functionality between asthmatics with exercise symptoms and healthy children. In addition, we have analyzed the association between clinical history and the presence of asthma.
Cross-sectional study including 71 patients with a diagnosis of asthma and 71 healthy children and adolescents (7-17 years of age). Anthropometric data, clinical history, disease control, lifestyle (KIDMED and physical activity questionnaires), lung function (spirometry), exercise-induced bronchoconstriction test, aerobic fitness (cardiopulmonary exercise test), muscle strength and functionality (timed up and go; timed up and down stairs) were evaluated.
Seventy-one patients with asthma (mean age 11.5 ± 2.7) and 71 healthy subjects (mean age 10.7 ± 2.5) were included. All asthmatic children had mild to moderate and stable asthma. EIB occurred in 56.3% of asthmatic children. Lung function was significantly (p < .05) lower in the asthmatic group when compared to healthy peers, as well as the cardiorespiratory fitness, muscle strength, lifestyle and functionality. Moreover, asthmatic children were more likely to have atopic dermatitis, allergic reactions, food allergies, and a family history of asthma when compared to healthy children.
Children with mild-to-moderate asthma presenting exercise symptoms show a reduction in cardiorespiratory fitness, muscle strength, lung function, functionality, and lifestyle when compared to healthy peers. The study provides data for pediatricians to support exercise practice aiming to improve prognosis and quality of life in asthmatic children.

© 2021 The Authors. Pediatric Pulmonology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.