[Bronchial asthma in high-performance athletes]

Schweiz Z Sportmed. 1991 Jun;39(2):77-81.
[Article in German]


Bronchial asthma is as frequent among high performance athletes as in the general population. We requested information from 2961 athletes of national or international level about these matters and received 2060 answers. From these, we identified 146 athletes (7.1%) with exercise-related deep respiratory airways symptoms. Athletes subject to hay fever (42%) suffer significantly more often (p less than 0.001) from such symptoms during exercise. 80% of these 146 cases had an insufficient diagnostic investigation and/or were treated with medicines unsuited to their needs or even not treated at all. Of particular interest, athletes who additionally had hay fever also received inadequate treatment, even though it is well known that they are subject to enhanced bronchial irritability during the pollen season. As a rule, athletes with exercise-related respiratory problems should be advised to abstain from smoking, especially if they suffer from an atopy-like illness, such as hay fever.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma / diagnosis
  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Asthma / epidemiology*
  • Asthma, Exercise-Induced / drug therapy
  • Asthma, Exercise-Induced / epidemiology
  • Asthma, Exercise-Induced / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / physiopathology
  • Sports Medicine*
  • Switzerland / epidemiology