University of Oulu

Juho Loponen, Pinja Ilmarinen, Leena E. Tuomisto, Onni Niemelä, Minna Tommola, Pentti Nieminen, Lauri Lehtimäki & Hannu Kankaanranta (2018) Daily physical activity and lung function decline in adult-onset asthma: a 12-year follow-up study, European Clinical Respiratory Journal, 5:1, DOI: 10.1080/20018525.2018.1533753

Daily physical activity and lung function decline in adult-onset asthma : a 12-year follow-up study

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Author: Loponen, Juho1,2; Ilmarinen, Pinja1; Tuomisto, Leena E.1;
Organizations: 1Department of Respiratory Medicine, Seinäjoki Central Hospital, Seinäjoki, Finland
2Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
3Department of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Research Unit, Seinäjoki Central Hospital and University of Tampere, Seinäjoki, Finland
4Medical Informatics and Statistics Research Group, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Allergy Centre, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2018
Publish Date: 2019-10-02


Background: There is a lack of knowledge on the association between daily physical activity and lung function in patients with asthma.

Objective: This study aims to examine the association between daily physical activity and asthma control, lung function, and lung function decline in patients with adult-onset asthma.

Design: This study is part of Seinäjoki Adult Asthma Study (SAAS), where 201 patients were followed for 12 years after asthma diagnosis. Daily physical activity was assessed at follow-up by a structured questionnaire and used to classify the population into subgroups of low (≤240 min) or high (>240 min) physical activity. Three spirometry evaluation points were used: 1. diagnosis, 2. the maximum lung function during the first 2.5 years after diagnosis (Max0–2.5), 3. follow-up at 12 years.

Results: High physical activity group had slower annual FEV1 (p<0.001) and FVC (p<0.018) decline. Additionally, the high physical activity group had higher FEV₁ values at follow-up, and higher FEV₁/FVC ratios at follow-up and diagnosis. There was no difference in BMI, smoking, medication, or frequency of physical exercise between high and low physical activity groups. Differences remained significant after adjustments for possible confounding factors.

Conclusion: This is the first demonstration of an association between long-term FEV₁ decline and daily physical activity in clinical asthma. Low physical activity is independently associated with faster decline in lung function. Daily physical activity should be recommended in treatment guidelines in asthma.

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Series: European clinical respiratory journal
ISSN: 2001-8525
ISSN-E: 2001-8525
ISSN-L: 2001-8525
Volume: 5
Issue: 1
Article number: 1533753
DOI: 10.1080/20018525.2018.1533753
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Funding: This study was sponsored by Tampere Tuberculosis Foundation (Tampere, Finland), the Finnish Anti-Tuberculosis Association Foundation (Helsinki, Finland), Jalmari and Rauha Ahokas Foundation (Helsinki, Finland), the Competitive State Research Financing of the Expert Responsibility Area of Tampere University Hospital (VTR,Tampere, Finland), and the Medical Research Fund of Seinäjoki Central Hospital (Seinäjoki, Finland) [Grant number 1717/6044].
Copyright information: © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.