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Smith, Maia P.; Berdel, Dietrich; Bauer, Carl-Peter; Koletzko, Sibylle; Nowak, Dennis ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7871-8686; Heinrich, Joachim and Schulz, Holger (2016): Asthma and Rhinitis Are Associated with Less Objectively-Measured Moderate and Vigorous Physical Activity, but Similar Sport Participation, in Adolescent German Boys: GINIplus and LISAplus Cohorts.
In: PLOS ONE 11(8), e0161461 [PDF, 345kB]


Introduction Physical activity (PA) protects against most noncommunicable diseases and has been associated with decreased risk of allergic phenotype, which is increasing worldwide. However, the association is not always present;furthermore it is not clear whether it is strongest for asthma, rhinitis, symptoms of these, or atopic sensitization;which sex is most affected;or whether it can be explained by either avoidance of sport or exacerbation of symptoms by exercise. Interventions are thus difficult to target. Methods PA was measured by one-week accelerometry in 1137 Germans (mean age 15.6 years, 47% boys) from the GINIplus and LISAplus birth cohorts, and modeled as a correlate of allergic symptoms, sensitization, or reported doctor-diagnosed asthma or rhinitis. Results 8.3% of children had asthma, of the remainder 7.9% had rhinitis, and of the remainder 32% were sensitized to aero-allergens (atopic). 52% were lung-healthy controls. Lung-healthy boys and girls averaged 46.4 min and 37.8 min moderate-to-vigorous PA per day, of which 14.6 and 11.4 min was vigorous. PA in allergic girls was not altered, but boys with asthma got 13% less moderate and 29% less vigorous PA, and those with rhinitis with 13% less moderate PA, than lung-healthy boys. Both sexes participated comparably in sport (70 to 84%). Adolescents with wheezing (up to 68%, in asthma) and/ or nose/eye symptoms (up to 88%, in rhinitis) were no less active. Conclusions We found that asthma and rhinitis, but not atopy, were independently associated with low PA in boys, but not in girls. These results indicate that allergic boys remain a high-risk group for physical inactivity even if they participate comparably in sport. Research into the link between PA and allergy should consider population-specific and sex-specific effects, and clinicians, parents, and designers of PA interventions should specifically address PA in allergic boys to ensure full participation.

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