A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ON SCREENING CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS FOR EXERCISE-INDUCED ASTHMA
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Asthma is a major cause of morbidity in children and adolescents. Exercise-induced asthma (EIA) is transient airway narrowing causing symptoms of cough and shortness of breath during and after exercise, either with or without chronic asthma. Parents and children may not recognize the symptoms of EIA as such and therefore children may lack proper treatment. Screening children for EIA will assist in identifying those at risk. A systematic review of EIA screening tests was conducted by searching PUBMED for key terms. Sixty-seven articles were identified; after abstracting the papers, seven met inclusion criteria for the focus of the review. These peer-reviewed studies screened presumably healthy children and children with known asthma or presumed EIA for EIA. The most common screening test used was the six-minute exercise challenge using a treadmill or free running test. The most common criteria for determining EIA was a decrease in FEV1 by 10 or 15%. Screening for EIA in schools has the potential to identify at risk children and adolescents, but screening needs to be both time- and cost-effective in order to be implemented successfully. More research is needed to identify feasible screening. A program is suggested that, with more research, may be implemented in schools to identify children and adolescents with undiagnosed EIA.