American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting

Source:

Hodges M, et al. Abstract 406. Presented at: AAAAI Annual Meeting; Feb. 25-28, 2022; Phoenix (hybrid meeting).

Disclosures: Hodges reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the abstract for all other researchers’ relevant financial disclosures.
February 27, 2022
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Children with, without asthma maintain oxygen levels while masked during exercise

Source:

Hodges M, et al. Abstract 406. Presented at: AAAAI Annual Meeting; Feb. 25-28, 2022; Phoenix (hybrid meeting).

Disclosures: Hodges reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the abstract for all other researchers’ relevant financial disclosures.
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PHOENIX — Oxygen saturation did not significantly decrease among children who participated in low- or moderate-intensity exercise while masked, according to data presented at American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting.

Also, researchers found no significant differences in peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2) or dyspnea among those with and without asthma.

Median SpO2 level was 99% at all time points among patients with asthma
Data were derived from Hodges M, et al. Abstract 406. Presented at: AAAAI Annual Meeting; Feb. 25-28, 2022; Phoenix (hybrid meeting).

“When mask use was first recommended at schools, many of our patients became concerned about the potential effects of masks, both at rest and during sports,” Marisa Hodges, MD, an allergy and clinical immunology fellow at University of Michigan, told Healio. “This concern was particularly prevalent in those with asthma. We set out to examine the safety of mask use in these scenarios.”

Marisa Hodges, MD
Marisa Hodges

Hodges and colleagues enrolled 50 children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years (median age, 12 years; 62% male; 70% white), 25 of whom had asthma.

The participants — 56% of whom wore cloth masks, 40% surgical masks and 4% N95-type masks — walked for 6 minutes while wearing masks during which researchers measured their SpO2 and heart rate via pulse oximetry at 3 and 6 minutes, which they compared with pre-exercise levels. Researchers also assessed whether the participants had any labored or difficulty breathing using a pediatric dyspnea scale, with scores ranging from 1 (no trouble at all) to 7 (very much trouble).

Overall, median SpO2 was 99% among those with asthma at all time points. For the nonasthma group, median SpO2 was 99% at baseline, 98.5% at 3 minutes and 99% at 6 minutes.

Thus, median SpO2 did not significantly differ between those with and without asthma when measured pre-exercise and at each time point during exercise.

Overall, this finding was not unexpected, Hodges said.

One participant without asthma showed a decrease in SpO2 from 99% to 95% which, according to the study protocol, would prompt them to repeat the exercise without a mask, but the participant declined to do so. This participant also reported a score of 1 on the pediatric dyspnea scale. No other participants had a decrease in SpO2 of 4% or more during the exercise.

Median pediatric dyspnea scale scores also appeared comparable between those with and without asthma pre-exercise (1 vs. 1), at 3 minutes (2 vs. 1) and at 6 minutes (1 vs. 1).

“It is a common concern among our patients with asthma that masks may have the potential to cause difficulties in breathing, but most patients do not complain of symptoms while wearing their masks,” Hodges said. “Oxygen saturation levels and reported dyspnea in children were similar in those with and without asthma. These data could be provided as reassurance to pediatric patients and their families who are concerned about mask use during low- to moderate-intensity exercise.”

Hodges added that future research should evaluate these measures while children in masks perform high-intensity exercise.