ASTHMA AMONG ELITE ATHLETES, MECHANISM OF OCCURENCE AND IMPACT ON RESPIRATORY PARAMETERS: A REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Introduction: It is generally accepted that physical activity benefits every person but athletes diagnosed with asthma face various challenges during their training to keep the symptoms of the disease under control. Prolonged exposure to agents in the environment in which athletes train favors the development of permanent changes in the airways. Their action leads to permanent hyper reactivity with development of an inflammatory response and the release of mediators (IL-8, leucotriens, eicosanoids) that lead to damage epithelial cells with breaking connection between them and consequent dysfunction of the respiratory system. This condition is called exercise-induced asthma (EIA). This fact is especially important for athletes who have long endurance training. The best way to check the condition of breathing system is with a diagnostic method which is the „ gold“ standard- spirometry. Aim: The point of this systematic review is to get closer the mechanism occurrence of EIA/(exercise induced bronchoconstriction)-EIB, prevalence and incidence of EIA/EIB, changes of pulmonary function and quality of life in elite athletes. We searched papers from PubMed and Cochrane database using keywords: 'exercise-induced asthma', 'athletes', ' spirometry', 'bronchoconstriction', ’bronchospasm’, 'physical activity', 'physical training', 'prevalence', 'incidence'. We have studied 48 scientific papers in total. Conclusion: The prevalence of asthma among elite athletes, especially endurance athletes is higher than in general population. The explanation of this phenomenon is related to the whole mechanism of occurrence, it is still insufficiently clarified, but one thing is for sure that with good disease control athletes can play and compete undisturbed for many years.
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