Asthma & Elite Athletes

An interesting article in the Guardian from a couple of months back poses the question as to why so many ‘elite’ athletes suffer from asthma, usually exercise-induced asthma (EIA).

Research has found that 70% of the UK-based members of the British swimming squad had asthma, compared with a national average of 8-10%, possibly related to the chlorinated nature of the pools. Meanwhile, a third of cyclists from Team Sky have the condition, and rapid inhalation of cold dry air has been identified as a trigger.

Asthma-induced reduction in lung function can be as much as 40% – astounding!

But perhaps what’s most remarkable about the article is that it mentions the pharmaceutical methods used to control the condition, and the drugs permitted under anti-doping regulations.

Why doesn’t it mention the possibility of breathing re-training, and the Buteyko method….?