Asthma deaths and the athlete
- Cite this article as:
- Lang, D.M. Clinic Rev Allerg Immunol (2005) 29: 125. doi:10.1385/CRIAI:29:2:125
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Asthma has recently become more prevalent, more severe, and more deadly. Approximately 4500 individuals die from asthma annually in the United States, an unacceptable number for a condition that can be managed effectively. Sudden death with exercise may result from a variety of causes, including previously unrecognized cardiac conditions. Asthma has also been recognized as a cause of death in association with sports. Recent data indicate those who suffer from mild to moderate asthma are also at risk for asthma fatality. The absolute magnitude of the increase in risk of death from asthma during sports, however, is very small. For this reason, individuals with asthma should not be discouraged from active participation in sports. Rather, this should reinforce the message that asthma is a condition that may be potentially serious, but can, and should be, well controlled with proper management.