Acute respiratory infections hamper training and competition in cross-country skiers, especially in those with asthma

Rikhard Mäki-Heikkilä, Jussi Karjalainen, Jari Parkkari, Heini Huhtala, Maarit Valtonen, Lauri Lehtimäki

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Abstract

Acute respiratory infections (ARinf) are one of the leading causes that prevent athletes from training and competing. The aim of this study was to investigate the burden of ARinfs during one season among cross-country skiers. All Finnish cross-country skiers enrolled in the largest national competitions in winter 2019 (n = 1282) were sent a postal questionnaire. A higher proportion of skiers with than without asthma had to refrain from competitions because of ARinf (76.9% vs. 62.2%, p = 0.011) but there was no significant difference in refraining from training (91.2% vs. 83.8%, p = 0.084). In skiers with asthma, the median duration of a single ARinf episode was longer (5.0 days, IQR 3.8-6.8 vs. 4.0 days, IQR 3.0-6.7, p  = 0.017), and they had more days of absence because of ARinf throughout the season (median 15 days (IQR 8-28) vs. 10 days (IQR 6-18), p  = 0.006) in comparison to non-asthmatics. However, many of the skiers either trained (54.4%) or competed (22.5%) during an ARinf.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2223359
Number of pages5
JournalINTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CIRCUMPOLAR HEALTH
Volume82
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • endurance sports
  • winter sports

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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