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Medicina dello Sport 2015 June;68(2):209-16

Copyright © 2015 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English, Italian

Smoking in athletes with asthma

Todaro A., Appodia M., Di Cave P.

Istituto di Medicina e Scienza dello Sport “Antonio Venerando”, Rome, Italy


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AIM: Many athletes smoke tobacco and many athletes suffer from asthma; however, data is scant on smoking in athletes with asthma. The aim of this study was to identify in a sample of athletes with diagnosed bronchial asthma those who also smoked and to determine the effects of smoking on respiratory function.
METHODS: Bronchial asthma was diagnosed by functional lung testing, in addition to history taking, physical examination, and spirometry. Pulmonary function was measured by forced expiratory volume (FEV1), forced expiratory volume/forced vital capacity ratio (FEV1/FVC), and maximal (mid-) expiratory flow (MMEF).
RESULTS: A sizeable proportion of athletes with asthma also smoked (8.5%) and had a greater degree of airway obstruction than the non-smokers.
CONCLUSION: Our data show that cigarette smoking exacerbates asthma inflammation in athletes. Sports physicians can play a pivotal role in smoking prevention and cessation in efforts to control asthma and improve physical performance.

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