Flares, or deadly asthma attacks, can be easily triggered off by physical exertion at either work or play, reveals a new study conducted by researchers at Tel Aviv University.
The study gives doctors a new way of advising those who may be at risk and will also help young asthmatic adults find safer and more suitable employment.
"The diagnosis of asthma is increasing in the western world. Some say it's because of genetics, pollution, and more accurate diagnostic tools," said Dr. Shlomo Moshe from Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine.
"I tried to tackle what happens from the occupational hazards side. Under what conditions do young adults develop asthmatic attacks? How can doctors better recognize this under-diagnosed disease?" Dr. Moshe added
Dr. Moshe said that doctors should be aware of the risk level for asthma in young adult patients.
"Using our recent research, we have developed a tool that gives both percentages and risks. If you had asthma in childhood, you can certainly develop it again. Family physicians need to know that certain jobs can be risky to their patients. If a patient wants to be a pro-football player, a baker, a carpenter, or a technician in an animal laboratory, his doctor needs to advise him accordingly," Dr. Moshe said.
Dr. Moshe's most recent research, which follows upon an earlier study, finds an indisputable connection between asthma and exercise.
"When young adults start their first job, they should be aware of the pulmonary risks," says Dr. Moshe, whose study covered nearly 800 young recruits to the Israel Defense Forces.
"Exercise and sports like football do cause asthmatic attacks. Logically, that should be considered if someone wants to do a job which includes physical exertion, like being a guard, taking part in competitive sports, or working in a factory on heavy machinery," Dr. Moshe added.
Dr. Moshe's new work builds on a 1999 study, which covered 60,000 subjects. The research evaluated the risks of people who had asthma in childhood and the risks for its later re-emergence as these subjects entered the adult workforce.
The study is published in Occupational Medicine.