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Asthma Medications Improve Performance of Non-Asthmatic People

Oct, 2020

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According to the researchers, the use of -2-agonists should be controlled and limited to athletes with documented asthma.

According to the new research, asthma control medications β2-agonists such as Terbutaline, Formoterol, Albuterol, etc. that are used by millions of asthmatics across the globe could have stamina and power improving properties. Asthma medications may help improve a sports person’s performance. The research was published in August 2020 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The research team from the Norwegian University of Sport and Physical Education and Western Norway University of Applied Sciences collected data from numerous randomized controlled trials to determine the effects of the asthma drugs on the performance of sportsperson.

Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases among children around the world. Over 339 million individuals are living with asthma and more than 80% of asthma-linked deaths occur in low-and lower-middle-income countries. Athletes are at greater risk of developing asthma because they require increased ventilation while performing. According to the team, athletes participating in the Olympic Games are at higher risk of asthma. Moreover, asthmatic athletes have usually prescribed glucocorticoids with breathe in β2-agonists before a performance to avoid the risk of asthmatic attacks. Β2-agonists help athletes by opening the airways of the lungs and helping them breathe better.

However, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) banned their use of β2-agonists due to the controversy about its performance-enhancing effects. During this research, the team looked through connected studies in four datasets such as Web of Science, SPORTDiscus, Embase, and PubMed. The researchers used statistical tools such as the standardized difference in mean (SDM) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). The team found that β2- agonists enhanced the performance of non-asthmatic individuals by 5%. Moreover, the team noticed around 6% improvement in weight lifting exercises and around 3% improvement in sprint exercises. According to the researchers, the use of -2-agonists should be controlled and limited to athletes with documented asthma.

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