The revelation that David Beckham has suffered from asthma since he was a child, prompted the player to play down fears that he could struggle in the thin air he would encounter at the World Cup in South Africa, where six venues are 3,000 feet or more above sea level.
The former England captain was photographed using an inhaler on the sidelines bench during the Los Angeles Galaxy’s penalty shoot-out defeat by Real Salt Lake in the MLS Cup final, the first time his condition has been brought to light.
Asthma expert, Dr John Dickinson said ‘Many elite athletes suffer from some form of asthma. The 2004 British Olympic Team had an asthma prevalence of 21% and in 2008 the prevalence was 25%. In some sports such as swimming and cycling the prevalence is closer 50%.”
He added “Many of the elite athletes I have worked with who have asthma have gone on to win Olympic and World Championship medals, demonstrating that as long as you manage your asthma appropriately you will not be at a disadvantage.”
Dr. John Dickinson, Acquisitions Editor at Human Kinetics Europe, has published several research articles on asthma including Impact of changes in the IOC-MC asthma criteria: and Screening elite winter athletes for exercise induced asthma.
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