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Pulmonary Rehabilitation |

Fran Lung: A Crossfit Phenomenon

Brian Reichardt; Elizabeth McCarter; Zafar Jamkhana, MPH
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Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO


Chest. 2014;146(4_MeetingAbstracts):804A. doi:10.1378/chest.1994530
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Abstract

SESSION TITLE: Physiology/PFTs/Rehabilitation Posters

SESSION TYPE: Original Investigation Poster

PRESENTED ON: Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 01:30 PM - 02:30 PM

PURPOSE: CrossFit is self-described as an evidence-based fitness program with exercises ranging from sprinting and gymnastics to Olympic weightlifting. The bench-mark workout performed is a strenuous exercise completed for time named “FRAN.” The online CrossFit community has coined the term “FRAN Lung” to describe respiratory symptoms developed after this particular exercise. Our study aimed to define the symptoms associated with the FRAN workout, the timing of onset and resolution of those symptoms, and identify risk factors for the development of those symptoms.

METHODS: An anonymous survey was designed and made available to complete voluntarily at 3 separate CrossFit centers. The investigators asked that the CrossFit owners and instructors inform their clients about the survey’s availability. A total of 48 surveys were collected. The data obtained from those surveys was analyzed using SPSS software.

RESULTS: Symptoms identified, in order of frequency reported, were cough, sputum production, metallic taste, wheezing, headache, and hoarseness. Seventy-two percent of symptomatic persons developed two or more symptoms. Age, BMI, history of smoking, history of lung disease or asthma, time taken to complete the exercise, and the time to peak symptom onset were not statistically significant identifiers for the development of two or more symptoms. Subjects with recent history of physical inactivity prior to joining CrossFit and those completing their exercises in a subjectively hot or warm environment were at risk for the development of two or more symptoms. Subjects who performed FRAN less frequently took longer to recover from their symptoms and symptoms that developed nearest the end of exercise resolved most quickly.

CONCLUSIONS: We found that ninety percent of persons completing FRAN are abnormally symptomatic following their workout. Of the forty-three symptomatic subjects none thought that their symptoms warranted visiting a physician.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: FRAN Lung is a true subset of symptoms. Although our subjects denied the need to seek medical attention, the overwhelmingly symptomatic patient base may soon wind up on our door-step. What remains unclear is the physiologic cause of these symptoms. Could they be secondary to exercise-induced bronchospasm or asthma? Further research is needed to better define FRAN Lung.

DISCLOSURE: The following authors have nothing to disclose: Brian Reichardt, Elizabeth McCarter, Zafar Jamkhana

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