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Aerobic training versus breathing exercises on asthma control

Published online: August 6, 2020

Aerobic training and breathing exercises are non-pharmacological interventions that improve asthma control and have been considered important adjuvants for medical treatment. Both exercises have been widely used and are low cost, easy to apply, and safe. However, the benefits of these two interventions for asthma control have not been previously addressed.

The new study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice by Evaristo et al. aimed to compare aerobic training versus breathing exercises’ effects on clinical control, quality of life, exercise capacity, and airway inflammation in 54 subjects with moderate-to-severe asthma. Participants were randomly separated into the aerobic training group (AG) or the breathing group (BG), and the interventions lasted for 24 sessions. Evaristo and coworkers evaluated the subjects before and immediately after the intervention, assessing asthma clinical control (ACQ), quality of life (AQLQ), asthma symptom-free days (ASFD), airway inflammation, exercise capacity, psychological distress (HADS), and daily life physical activity (DLPA). Three months after the intervention, ACQ, daily symptoms, HADS and AQLQ were re-evaluated.

Aerobic training and breathing exercises induced similar effects on asthma control, quality of life, psychological distress, and airway inflammation. However, participants in the aerobic training were 2.6-times more likely to experience clinical improvement after a 3-month follow-up and were 4.3-times more likely to reduce rescue medication use after the intervention.

These results suggest that aerobic training has a greater and longer effect on asthma control and reduction of medication compared with breathing exercises in subjects with moderate to severe asthma.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice is an official journal of the AAAAI, focusing on practical information for the practicing clinician.

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