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The predictive value of parental questionnaire responses for exercise-induced bronchoconstriction in childhood asthma has not been fully clarified. The aim of this study was to compare exercise-induced bronchial hyperresponsiveness in 7 year old children with parental responses to core questions in the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) study. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 191 (91% of eligible) children from seven randomly selected schools in Southern Tasmania. Study measurements included a parental questionnaire and exercise challenge testing, using a recently validated 6 min free-running protocol. The response to exercise was assessed using forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) measurement. The median percentage fall in FEV1 was significantly higher in children whose parents responded positively to ISAAC questions on a history of wheeze (p = 0.0031) or asthma (p = 0.0005), recent wheeze (p = 0.0005), sleep disturbance due to wheeze (p = 0.0005), or exercise-induced wheeze (p = 0.0015). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis showed exercise-induced bronchial hyperresponsiveness to be a good indicator of current asthma status. Using a 12% or greater fall in FEV1 postexercise as a positive test response, the exercise challenge had sensitivity and specificity estimates for current asthma and exercise-induced wheeze of (0.58 and 0.77) and (0.60 and 0.77), respectively. In conclusion, the respiratory response to exercise was consistent with parental responses to the ISAAC questionnaire in a population-based sample of 7 year old children. These findings will assist interpretation of large ISAAC studies in terms of asthma prevalence.


Journal article


Eur Respir J

Publication Date





1356 - 1362


Adult, Asthma, Exercise-Induced, Bronchial Hyperreactivity, Child, Cross-Sectional Studies, Data Collection, Exercise Test, Female, Forced Expiratory Volume, Humans, International Cooperation, Male, Parents, Predictive Value of Tests, Prevalence, ROC Curve, Running, Sensitivity and Specificity, Surveys and Questionnaires, Tasmania