Because the practise conditions put the ski-mountaineering athletes potentially at risk for exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), this study was conducted to estimate the prevalence of EIB in this population. Thirty-one highly-trained ski-mountaineers with racing experience participating in the race were evaluated. EIB was determined after a European race at high altitude and frigid conditions. Pre-race investigations included pulmonary function measurements and a questionnaire enquiring about i) training habits, ii) respiratory history during training and/or competition. Pulmonary function was also tested after the race. None of the athletes reported a basal airway obstruction. Two groups were determined after post-race airway response: i) EIBI group exhibiting a fall in FEV1 >= 10% (n= 15) and ii) EIB- without fall in FEV1 or fall < 10% (n = 16). Neither training habits nor baseline lung function were associated with the post-race airway response. Six of the 31 ski-mountaineers had a previous physician-made diagnosis of asthma and/or EIB, nevertheless 23 of our athletes complained about at least one characteristic symptom of asthma during practise. Four of our 15 EIB+ had a previous physician-made diagnosis of asthma/EIB indicating that 73% of EIB+ athletes were undiagnosed for EIB. The proportion of allergic athletes was not significantly different between EIB+ and EIB-. This study showed that approximatively half of highly-trained ski-mountaineers with racing experience can develop EIB after a race and that 73% of them are unaware of the problem.
- exercise-induced bronchoconstriction
- elite athletes
- INDUCED BRONCHOSPASM