High levels of pollutants in the London air may pose a threat to some Olympians’ performances. Air pollution has been found to impact athlete performance, and this is especially the case for those with asthma. Asthma is already the most common chronic medical condition among athletes, affecting approximately 8% of the Olympians.
Poor air quality can both exacerbate symptoms and trigger attacks. The effect is greatest for outdoor endurance athletes – in a number of cases, athletes who did not suffer from asthma in their childhood went on to develop asthma following years of athletic training. A recent study which investigated marathon times and the link with air pollution has shown that women have a greater vulnerability to this issue.
Here’s hoping our athletes can still prevail, even with the smog! Go TEAM USA!