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Study finds a high rate of asthma in college athletes
Date:9/5/2007

COLUMBUS, Ohio More than a third of college athletes assessed for breathing problems had test results suggesting exercise-induced asthma, even in those athletes who had no previous history of asthma, a new study shows.

The findings, published in the September issue of the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, paralleled earlier findings of a high prevalence of exercise-induced asthma among Olympic athletes. The work also underscores the need to develop more routine diagnosis and management tools in athletes to detect the potentially serious condition among athletes.

Researchers at Ohio State University Medical Center screened 107 Ohio State varsity athletes for exercise-induced asthma. Forty-two (39 percent) of the athletes tested positive, and 36 of those 42 athletes had no prior history of asthma.

The results suggest there are a significant number of athletes with unrecognized exercise-induced asthma. There were also many presentations of exercise-induced asthma, many of which were not classic cases, making diagnosis challenging.

Exercise-induced asthma occurs when airflow to the lungs is reduced due to narrowing and closing of the airways in association with exercise. This airway obstruction usually occurs just after exercise.

We targeted varsity athletes in this study because many of the reported severe episodes of asthma provoked by exercise have occurred among competitive athletes under the age of 21, said Jonathan Parsons, a pulmonologist and associate director of the Medical Center's Asthma Center and lead author of the study. Now that we've demonstrated how common this problem can be, more research is needed to determine the best way to monitor and manage athletes at the highest risk of developing symptoms while participating in their sports.

To stress the lungs, the researchers used eucapnic voluntary hyperpnea testing, a technique which has proved to be a sensitive test for dia
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Contact: Sherri L. Kirk
Sherri.Kirk@osumc.edu
614-293-3737
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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