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Recreational Runners Need More Allergy Attention

Recreational roadrunners less likely to take meds or see doctor for allergies than Olympic athletes

THURSDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Recreational runners are more likely to have allergy symptoms but are less likely to get medication for their symptoms than Olympic athletes are, researchers report in the December issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Kenneth W. Rundell, Ph.D., of Marywood University in Scranton, Pa., and colleagues used questionnaire responses to measure the prevalence of allergy symptoms and asthma medication use in recreational roadrunners who had competed for an average of 13 years. Their results were compared with those reported in the literature for Olympic athletes.

The investigators found that 44 percent of respondents reported symptoms of allergy, 31 percent reported asthma and 21 reported both. Only about 0.5 percent of allergy sufferers used prescription medications before a race. Those with asthma, either alone or with allergies, were more likely to have medication and to seek specialty medical attention than those with allergy alone.

Since athletes often fail to recognize allergy symptoms and tend to be poor historians of their symptoms, allergy specialty attention is needed for these athletes, the authors conclude. "Asthma and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis should never interfere with healthy sports activity," they add.

The study was supported in part by Schering Corporation.

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