Effect of cold air exposure and exercise on nonspecific bronchial reactivity

T. Ahmed, I. Danta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Exercise and eucapnic hyperventilation with cold air can produce bronchoconstriction in asthmatic subjects, but their enhancement of nonspecific bronchial reactivity remains uncelar. We studied the effect of submaximal exercise and cold air exposure on bronchial reactivity to methacholine in a normal control groups (n = 10) and in subjects with bronchial asthma (n = 17). Bronchial provocation testing was performed to determine the provoking dose (PD35) of methacholine that caused a 35 percent decrease in specific airway conductance (Gaw/VL) in the two groups. Each subject was studied on three different occasions to determine the PD35 to methacholine on a control day, after ten minutes of submaximal exercise, and after a 30-minute exposure to cold air. Methacholine challenge was performed after the Gaw/VL had returned to the baseline values. In the normal group, neither cold air exposure nor exercise challenge had any significant effect on baseline Gaw/VL, whereas in the asthmatic group, both stimuli caused 20 percent and 15 percent decreases in Gaw/VL, respectively (p < .05). Mean ± SD control PD35 was 6.1 ± 11.6 breath units in the asthmatic group, which decreased to 2.2 ± 2.8 after exercise and 3.0 ± 5.0 breath units after cold air exposure (p < .05). In the normal group, control PD35 was 73 ± 32 breath units, which was not different from PD35 values of 64 ± 75 and 52 ± 64 breath units after exercise and cold air exposure, respectively (p = NS). These data suggest that submaximal exercise and cold air exposure enhance nonspecific bronchial activity in asthmatic but not in normal subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1132-1136
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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