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September 1988

Determination of Fitness in Children With Asthma: Use of Standardized Tests for Functional Endurance, Body Fat Composition, Flexibility, and Abdominal Strength

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatrics (Dr Strunk and Ms Fukuhara) and Rehabilitation Services (Mss Rubin and Kelly and Mr Sherman), National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, Denver; and the Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver (Dr Strunk). Dr Strunk is now with the Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis.

Am J Dis Child. 1988;142(9):940-944. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1988.02150090038019

• Children with asthma frequently have exercise-induced disease that can limit their participation in both organized sports and vigorous free play. We measured fitness in a group of children with moderately severe to severe asthma with an instrument that is used widely and is available to clinicians for assessment of the physical capability of their patients. Abnormalities in physical fitness were present primarily in the area of endurance, with performance in the nine-minute run frequently found to be low. Increased skin-fold thickness was also present more frequently than in the normal population. Abdominal strength and flexibility were normal. Abnormalities in fitness were not well explained by measures indicating the presence of poorly controlled disease. All children with significant asthma probably should be tested to document the level of fitness so that appropriate intervention can be initiated.

(AJDC 1988;142:940-944)

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