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Schweiz Med Wochenschr. 1990 Feb 17;120(7):231-6.

[The incidence of hay fever in leading Swiss athletes].

[Article in German]

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Medizinische Klinik Zieglerspital, Bern.


This enquiry covers 2961 active Swiss athletes of national or international standing in 68 different sports. Of these, 2060 (70%; 1507 males, 552 females) answered the questionnaire. 347 athletes (16.8%) indicated they suffered from hay fever, 204 of them (59%) needing medication during the pollen season. 25% took antihistamines, 20% various nasal decongestants, 19% Similasan, a homeopathic drug, and 11% various eye drops. 6% received injections of depot corticosteroid preparations. 50% of the athletes obtained these medications on prescription. 146 athletes (7.1%) complained of lower respiratory tract symptoms, 77 of them mentioning asthma attacks and 47 continuous dyspnea. The enquiry shows that the incidence of hay fever in highly trained athletes is as high as in the general Swiss population. The same is true of asthma. A considerable proportion of allergic athletes are inadequately informed as to both antiallergic therapy and doping regulations.

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