Could Aerobic Exercise Benefit Patients With Severe Asthma?

Aerobic exercise improves symptoms, systemic inflammation, and quality of life in patients with moderate-to-severe asthma, according to a new study.

In order to better understand the affect of aerobic training on the main features of asthma, including bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR), inflammation, and quality of life, researchers conducted an analysis of 43 individuals with persistent asthma. Participants were randomized to either twice weekly, 35-minute aerobic training regimen or to a control group.

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BHR and serum inflammatory cytokines were evaluated both before and after the intervention.

After 12 weeks, participants in the training group saw reductions in BHR, reductions in interleukin 6 and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1, and improved scores on the Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire, compared to controls. They also experienced fewer adverse asthma events than the control group.

“Aerobic training reduced BHR and serum proinflammatory cytokines and improved quality of life and asthma exacerbation in patients with moderate or severe asthma,” they concluded. 

“These results suggest that adding exercise as an adjunct therapy to pharmacological treatment could improve the main features of asthma.“  

—Michael Potts


Franca-Pinto A, Mendes FAR, de Carvalho-Pinto RM, et al. Aerobic training decreases bronchial hyperresponsiveness and systemic inflammation in patients with moderate or severe asthma: a randomised controlled trial. Thorax. June 2015 (epub ahead of print). doi:10.1136/thoraxjnl-2014-206070