Athletics Can Cause Asthma Fatalities

Published Online: Thursday, April 1, 2004

A new study has found that sports activity can bring about a deadly asthma attack. The researchers discovered that asthma was the main cause of death in 61 of 263 potential asthma-related deaths during sporting events between July 1993 and December 2000. The researchers used newspaper clippings to identify possible sports-related asthma deaths, asked for relevant autopsy records, and spoke with families when possible to determine results.

The findings, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (February 2004), showed in total that Caucasian men between the ages of 10 and 20 were most at risk of dying from asthma during sports. Caucasian athletes who died outnumbered African Americans by nearly 2 to 1. As for men versus women, the number of male athletes who died was more than double the number of women suffering a fatal asthma attack.

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