Swimming pools may be bad for asthma sufferers, researchers are discovering. The chlorine in the water has been pinpointed as a possible cause, and certainly seems to make the condition worse.
A Belgian research team had discovered the problem in indoor pools, but new research they have just finished suggests the same problem occurs in outdoors pools too.
The researchers tracked the health of 847 schoolchildren with an average age of 15 years. After examining their profiles, which included their exposure to all the usual asthma triggers such as pets, tobacco smoke and pollution, the researchers discovered that the children who were keen swimmers were five times more likely to have asthma than children who never swam.
Many of the children who developed asthma had swum for an hour every week for 10 years.
(Source: European Respiratory Journal, 2008; 32: 979-88).