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Jeannette Manger


Objective: The aim of this retrospective study is to evaluate the cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength performance of children with asthma versus without.

Methods: Participants include patients who were involved in the 2012 NHANES National Youth Fitness Survey (NNYFS) as published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The average cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength scores will be appreciated by analyzing the averages of time spent on treadmill, maximal heart rate, heart rate at end of exam, recovery time, maximal endurance time, cardiovascular fitness report, upper body strength and lower body strength using two-tailed T-tests between patients with asthma versus without. Results: Children with asthma have a statistically lower total time spent on treadmill and maximal endurance time (p = 0.006, p = 0.006, respectively). Children with asthma do not have statistically different maximal heart rate, heart rate at end of exam, recovery time, cardiovascular fitness, upper body strength, or lower body strength compared to children without asthma.

Discussion/Conclusion: History of asthma should not be considered a direct, baseline cause of decreased cardiovascular fitness or muscle strength performance in children. The anxiety of breathlessness in an asthma attack or lack of proper medical management may encourage asthmatics to have a sedentary lifestyle without engaging in regular physical activity. Our findings support the growing research that encourages the individuals with asthma to pursue a healthy, active lifestyle alongside proper medical management in order to achieve optimal cardiovascular and musculoskeletal health.

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