The objective of this study was to evaluate the role of body mass index with regard to exercise performance, exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) and respiratory symptoms in 7-16-year-old children.
1120 outdoor running exercise challenge test results of 7-16-year-old children were retrospectively reviewed. Lung function was evaluated with spirometry and exercise performance was assessed by calculating distance per 6 minutes from the running time and distance. Respiratory symptoms in the exercise challenge test were recorded and body mass index modified for children (ISO-BMI) was calculated for each child from height, weight, age, and gender according to the national growth references.
Greater ISO-BMI and overweight were associated with poorer exercise performance (p<0.001). In addition, greater ISO-BMI was independently associated with cough (p=0.002) and shortness of breath (p=0.012) in the exercise challenge. However, there was no association between ISO-BMI and EIB or with wheeze during the exercise challenge.
Greater ISO-BMI may have a role in poorer exercise performance and appearance of respiratory symptoms during exercise, but not in EIB in 7-16-year-old children.

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