Department of Exercise Physiology, Azarbaijan Shahid Madani University, Tabriz, Iran,
Department of Pulmonology, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran
Background: In this study, we aimed to investigate the effects of aerobic exercise training on the serum IL-4/IFN-γ ratio (Th1/Th2 balance), testosterone/cortisol ratio, levels of cortisol, testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone, and body mass index (BMI) and to determine the relationship between changes in these variables in women with asthma. Materials and Methods: Twenty-one women with mild to moderate asthma and regular menstrual cycles were selected in this study. Eleven women in the exercise group participated in the aerobic exercise program (60 min/day, three days a week in the evening). Peripheral blood samples were collected before (week 0) and after (week 12) the program. The samples were analyzed to determine the levels of sex hormones and cortisol via chemiluminescence assay, and cytokines were examined by ELISA assay. Results: The findings showed a significant increase in the Th1/Th2 ratio and a decrease in cortisol and BMI in the exercise group, compared to the control group (p <0.05). There was no significant correlation between changes in cortisol, sex hormones, and BMI and the increase in Th1/Th2 ratio. Conclusion: The present results suggested that moderate aerobic exercise enhances the Th1/Th2 ratio, independent of changes in steroid hormone level and BMI in women with asthma.