Effects of chlorine and exercise on the unified airway in adolescent elite Scottish swimmers

K. L. Clearie, S. Vaidyanathan, P. A. Williamson, A. Goudie, P. Short, S. Schembri, Brian Lipworth

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    Abstract

    P>Background:

    Chlorine metabolites and high training load may produce exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB) in elite swimmers. The aim of this study was to assess the combined effects of chlorine and exercise on the unified airway of adolescent elite swimmers.

    Methods:

    The Scottish Midlands District squad were assessed during an indoor pool session at the National Swimming Academy. Athletes trained at least 8 h per week. Subjects underwent tidal (T-NO) and nasal (N-NO) exhaled NO and peak nasal inspiratory flow (PNIF) pre and post a 2 h session. A physiological exercise challenge assessed EIB in n = 36 swimmers (> 10% fall in forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1)).

    Results:

    Combined and free chlorine levels (mg/l) were 1.66 and 0.3 respectively. n = 36 swimmers (mean age 13.3 years) were assessed: n = 8 (22%) had known asthma; n = 13 (36%) had a positive physiological challenge; 18 (50%) complained of symptoms suggestive of EIB. n = 10/28 (36%) who did not have asthma were found to have a positive exercise challenge. There was no significant association between reported exercise symptoms and positive exercise test. There was no significant change in T-NO or N-NO for pre vs postexposure, irrespective of asthma diagnosis or AHR. n = 15 (42%) swimmers complained of worsening nasal symptoms postexposure, but only n = 7 (14%) had a demonstrable fall in PNIF (mean 33 l/min). No significant association was found between PNIF and symptoms.

    Conclusions:

    Combined exposure to chlorine and exercise did not affect surrogate markers of inflammation in the unified airway. There was a high prevalence of undiagnosed EIB.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)269-273
    Number of pages5
    JournalAllergy
    Volume65
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010

    Keywords

    • Bronchial challenge
    • Exercise-induced asthma
    • Nitric oxide
    • Rhinitis
    • Exhaled nitric oxide
    • Induced asthma
    • Bronchial responsiveness
    • Rhinitis
    • Inflammation
    • Diagnosis
    • Symptoms
    • Sputum

    Cite this

    Clearie, K. L., Vaidyanathan, S., Williamson, P. A., Goudie, A., Short, P., Schembri, S., & Lipworth, B. (2010). Effects of chlorine and exercise on the unified airway in adolescent elite Scottish swimmers. Allergy, 65(2), 269-273. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1398-9995.2009.02173.x