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Are recreational SCUBA divers with asthma at increased risk?

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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Asthma has traditionally been regarded as a contraindication to Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA) diving, although large numbers of patients with asthma dive. The aim of the present review is to provide an update on current knowledge on potential disease-related hazards in SUBA-divers with asthma.

METHODS: Systematic literature review based on the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines.

RESULTS: Seven studies met the criteria for inclusion in the present review (comprising a total of 560 subjects). Five studies reported an increased risk for developing diving-related injuries in divers with asthma, based on case reports (n = 1), case history combined with objective assessment (n = 1), and dives and/or simulated dives (n = 3). The remaining studies (n = 2) were based on self-reported diving habits in divers suffering from asthma, obtained from anonymous questionnaires in diving magazines, reported no diving-related injuries among respondents.

CONCLUSION: Due to limited evidence difficult to draw valid conclusions, but there are indications that recreational divers with asthma may be at increased risk for diving-related injuries compared to non-asthmatic divers. However, it is of outmost importance to obtain further evidence from large-scale, well-designed studies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of asthma : official journal of the Association for the Care of Asthma
Volume54
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)784-791
ISSN0277-0903
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

ID: 49455707