Research Impacts - Studies

Abt SRBI Conducts Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm (EIB) Survey

Release Date: 3/1/2010
Abt SRBI conducted the Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm (EIB) Survey, the first comprehensive national survey of the public, asthma patients and healthcare providers about exercise-related respiratory symptoms in the United States.

A national sample of 1,001 adults and 516 children, aged 4 and older, who have been diagnosed with asthma and who have had asthma symptoms in the past 12 months or are taking medicine for their asthma, was interviewed by telephone about their condition and treatment. For comparison, a national sample of 1,085 adults was also interviewed. In addition, national samples of 450 healthcare providers were interviewed as part of this survey to provide insights on the healthcare provider perspective of asthma management.

Key Insights

The survey findings yield a number of important insights about asthma and exercise-induced bronchospasm in the United States:
  • Patients with asthma have a significant physical burden of disease, which produces lower self-health ratings, activity limitations, and sick days, compared with persons without asthma.
  • Asthmatic patients with symptoms of exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB) also have a significant emotional or psychological burden of disease as demonstrated by feeling more fearful, isolated, depressed, frustrated, and embarrassed than persons without EIB symptoms.
  • Nearly half of asthma patients report their health interferes with their ability to participate and perform well in sports, and more than a third feel they cannot keep up as well as other persons their own age in physical activities.
  • When asked what usually triggers their asthma or makes it worse, nearly a third of asthma patients volunteer “exercise” --- more than any other asthma trigger.
  • Four out of five asthma patients report experiencing symptoms after sports, exercise, play or other physical activity, but less than a quarter have been diagnosed with either exercise-induced asthma (EIA) or exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB).
  • Less than a quarter of asthma patients with exercise-related symptoms take quick-relief medicine, like albuterol, always or most of the time prior to exercising.
  • Patients’ understanding of exercise-related symptoms and their management are different than healthcare providers, which may lead to miscommunications between physicians and patients regarding proper asthma management.
  • Results of the survey suggest that exercise-related symptoms among asthma patients may reflect uncontrolled or improperly managed asthma.
  • The problem of EIB is not limited to persons with asthma with more than a quarter of the adult cross-section reporting respiratory symptoms during or after sports, exercise, play or other physical activities, while less than one in five have been diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma or exercise-induced bronchospasm.

For more information visit the EIB Landmark Survey website.