PURPOSE: Exercise is a common precipitant of acute asthma episode. It is a specific and sensitive test for the diagnosis of asthma in clinical and epidemiological setting. There is Paucity of data in Nigeria on the use of Step test as an exercise protocol for asthmatic subjects.The aim of this study therefore is to evaluate the step exercise inducing capacity of free running, step test and cycle ergometer.
METHODS: Forty eight (48) stable asthmatics patients of mild to moderate severity were asked to perform the exercise test within one week in order to maintain a similar environmental condition. The peak expiratory flow values and heart rate were used to monitor pulmonary function post exercise and the intensity of the exercise respectively.
RESULTS: Forty eight (48) stable asthmatic patients completed the three exercise test (24 females, 24 male) ; mean age of 24.08±4.97, range 17 –37 years.Free running is the most asthmagenic exercise followed by the step test and cycle ergometer 36 subjects (75%) versus 27 subject (56.3%) versus 24 subjects (50% respectively).There is a strong and significant correlation r = 0.61 P<0.001) between step test and cycle ergometer.
CONCLUSION: Free running produced the most positive result. However, step test is a safe, simple portable and readily available instrument which compares well with laboratory based cycle ergometer.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: The Step-test is a simple,reproduceable and responsive exercise protocol for assessing asthmatics in low-income Countries.
DISCLOSURE: Gregory Erhabor, None.