Aerobic Training May Reduce Symptom Frequency and Improve Asthma-Related Quality of Life in Adults with Asthma

DynaMed Weekly Update - Volume 5, Issue 33

Asthma symptoms can have effects on both physical and emotional well-being. Since exercise has been associated with improved quality of life in patients with other chronic diseases, a recent randomized trial evaluated the effect of exercise training in 101 patients with moderate or severe persistent asthma. Patients who had received medical asthma treatment for ? 6 months and had been clinically stable for ? 30 days were randomized to 3 months of aerobic training in twice weekly 30-minute sessions vs. control with no formal exercise. All patients participated in a 4-hour educational program and received yoga breathing training. In an analysis of 88% of the randomized participants, the aerobic training group had a significantly higher rate of symptom-free days (24 vs. 16 per month, p < 0.001) (level 2 [mid-level] evidence). In addition, anxiety and depression scores were significantly improved from baseline in the aerobic group (p < 0.001) but not in the control group. Aerobic training was also associated with improvement in asthma-related quality of life total scores as well as physical limitation, symptom frequency, and psychosocial subscores (p < 0.001). The reduced asthma frequency and the improvements in quality of life scores were not related to improvements in pulmonary function testing, which did not change over the course of the trial, but were only related to improvements in aerobic capacity (Chest 2010 Aug;138(2):331).

For more information, see the Asthma in adults and adolescents topic in DynaMed.