Open Access Research article

Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction and atopy in Tunisian athletes

Ridha Sallaoui1*, Karim Chamari2, Abbas Mossa3, Zouhair Tabka4, Moktar Chtara2, Youssef Feki5 and Mohamed Amri5

Author Affiliations

1 ISSEP-Sfax, Unité de Recherche "Les déterminants psychoculturels et biologiques de l'accès à la haute performance sportive", Sfax. Tunisia

2 Research Unit ''Evaluation, Sport, Health" National Centre of Medicine and Science in Sport, CNMSS, El Menzah, Tunisia

3 United Arabic Emirates National Olympic Commitee, Dubai, UAE

4 Departement of Physiology and Lung Function Testing, Sousse Faculty of Medicine, University of Center, Sousse, Tunisia

5 Laboratoire de Physiologie de la Nutrition, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, El Manar 1060 Tunis, Tunisia

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BMC Pulmonary Medicine 2009, 9:8  doi:10.1186/1471-2466-9-8

Published: 5 February 2009



This study is a cross sectional analysis, aiming to evaluate if atopy is as a risk factor for exercise induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) among Tunisian athletes.


Atopy was defined by a skin prick test result and EIB was defined as a decrease of at least 15% in forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) after 8-min running at 80–85% HRmaxTheo. The study population was composed of 326 athletes (age: 20.8 ± 2.7 yrs – mean ± SD; 138 women and 188 men) of whom 107 were elite athletes.


Atopy was found in 26.9% (88/326) of the athletes. Post exercise spirometry revealed the presence of EIB in 9.8% of the athletes including 13% of the elite athletes. Frequency of atopy in athletes with EIB was significantly higher than in athletes without EIB [62.5% vs 23.1%, respectively].


This study showed that atopic Tunisian athletes presented a higher risk of developing exercise induced bronchoconstriction than non-atopic athletes.