METHOD: We performed a cross-sectional study using the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood questionnaire to identify 7-12-year-old Malay children with asthma symptoms from a primary school in central Kuala Lumpur. Sixty-five of 76 children with 'ever wheeze' performed an exercise challenge test successfully in an uncontrolled environment. A random sample of 80 schoolchildren with no history of wheeze were similarly tested as controls. The relative humidity and temperature were recorded. A fall of > 15% was considered as clinically important.
RESULTS: The prevalence of EIB in schoolchildren with 'ever wheeze' was 47.7%. The prevalence of EIB in children with 'current wheeze' was 51.6%. The prevalence of EIB in controls was 7.5%. The relative humidity during the study ranged from 41 to 90%. There was no significant relationship between different humidity levels and EIB (P = 0.58, regression analysis).
CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that EIB is present in asthmatic children despite the highly humid tropical environment.