University of Oulu

Jaakkola MS, Aalto SAM, Hyrkäs-Palmu H, Jaakkola JJK (2020) Association between regular exercise and asthma control among adults: The population-based Northern Finnish Asthma Study. PLoS ONE 15(1): e0227983.

Association between regular exercise and asthma control among adults : the population-based Northern Finnish Asthma Study

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Author: .Jaakkola, Maritta S.1,2,3; Aalto, Sirpa A. M.1,2,3; Hyrkäs-Palmu, Henna1,2,3;
Organizations: 1Center for Environmental and Respiratory Health Research (CERH), University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Medical Research Center Oulu (MRC Oulu), University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Public Library of Science, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-03-04


Previously those with asthma were often advised to avoid strenuous exercise because of fear for exercise-induced asthmatic reactions, but recent findings suggest many beneficial effects on health related to exercise. We elaborated on the relation between regular exercise and asthma control among adults. This was a population-based cross-sectional Northern Finnish Asthma Study (NoFAS), in which altogether 1922 adult subjects 17–73 years old living in Northern Finland answered the NoFAS questionnaire. The determinant of interest was the total amount of regular exercise during leisure time, measured in hours per week and categorized into no, low (>0≤2h per week), medium (>2 ≤5h), high (>5≤10h) and very high (>10h) exercise categories. The outcome of interest was asthma control, which was assessed based on the Asthma Control Test (ACT). As statistical methods we applied analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Poisson regression. ACT score increased gradually, i.e. asthma control improved, with an increasing amount of exercise from no exercise (mean ACT = 19.4; difference from the reference: -1.57, 95% CI -2.12 to -1.01) to high exercise reference category (mean = 21.0), but was slightly lower (mean = 20.3; -0.64, 95% CI -1.27 to -0.02) in the very high exercise category. Such non-linear relation was present both in women and in men. In conclusion, we provide evidence that moderate to high regular exercise improves asthma control among adults with asthma. Advice about regular exercise should be included as an important part of asthma management for adults.

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Series: PLoS one
ISSN: 1932-6203
ISSN-E: 1932-6203
ISSN-L: 1932-6203
Volume: 15
Issue: 1
Article number: e0227983
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0227983
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Funding: This study was supported by The Research Foundation of the Pulmonary Diseases (MSJ, JJKJ), The Jalmari and Rauha Ahokas Foundation, The Väinö and Laina Kivi Foundation, The Finnish Anti-Tuberculosis Association Foundation (SAMA), and the University of Oulu strategic funds (JJKJ). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Copyright information: © 2020 Jaakkola et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.