Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/12776
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Prevalence of Allergy and Upper Respiratory Tract Symptoms in Runners of the London Marathon
Authors: Robson-Ansley, Paula
Howatson, Glyn
Tallent, Jamie
Mitcheson, Kelly
Walshe, Ian
Toms, Chris
du, Toit George
Smith, Matt
Ansley, Les
Contact Email: ian.walshe@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: allergic rhinitis
athletes
exercise-induced asthma
inhalant allergens
upper respiratory tract infection
Issue Date: Jun-2012
Publisher: The American College of Sports Medicine
Citation: Robson-Ansley P, Howatson G, Tallent J, Mitcheson K, Walshe I, Toms C, du Toit G, Smith M & Ansley L (2012) Prevalence of Allergy and Upper Respiratory Tract Symptoms in Runners of the London Marathon, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 44 (6), pp. 999-1004.
Abstract: Background: The prevalence of self-reported upper respiratory tract (URT) symptoms in athletes has been traditionally associated with opportunistic infection during the temporal suppression of immune function after prolonged exercise. There is little evidence for this, and a competing noninfectious hypothesis has been proposed, whereby the exercise-induced immune system modulations favor the development of atopy and allergic disease, which manifests as URT symptoms. The aim of this study was to examine the association between allergy and URT symptoms in runners after an endurance running event. Methods: Two hundred eight runners from the 2010 London Marathon completed the validated Allergy Questionnaire for Athletes (AQUA) and had serum analyzed for total and specific immunoglobulin E response to common inhalant allergens. Participants who completed the marathon and nonrunning controls who lived in the same household were asked to complete a diary on URT symptoms. Results: Forty percent of runners had allergy as defined by both a positive AQUA and elevated specific immunoglobulin E. Forty-seven percent of runners experienced URT symptoms after the marathon. A positive AQUA was a significant predictor of postmarathon URT symptoms in runners. Only 19% of nonrunning controls reported symptoms. Conclusions: The prevalence of allergy in recreational marathon runners was similar to that in elite athletes and higher than that in the general population. There was a strong association between a positive AQUA and URT symptoms. The low proportion of households in which both runners and nonrunners were symptomatic suggests that the nature of symptoms may be allergic or inflammatory based rather than infectious. Allergy is a treatable condition, and its potential effect on performance and health may be avoided by accurate clinical diagnosis and management. Both athletes' and coaches' awareness of the potential implications of poorly managed allergy needs to be raised.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/12776
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e318243253d
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: Northumbria University
Northumbria University
Northumbria University
Northumbria University
Sport
Northumbria University
King's College London
University of Worcester
Northumbria University

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