The prevalence of asthma in an NCAA Division I collegiate athletic program

Donald F. Zoz, Jonathan P. Parsons, Janine L. Oman, Gary Phillips, Christopher C. Kaeding, Thomas M. Best, John G. Mastronarde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose. To determine the prevalence of asthma among all varsity athletes in a large National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I program. Methods. We retrospectively reviewed the medical records for all varsity athletes at The Ohio State University (OSU). Data were abstracted from patient charts that contained a Medical Health Questionnaire, annual physical examinations, and medical encounters by the OSU Sports Medicine staff. A diagnosis of asthma was defined by self-report of physician diagnosis as recorded in the medical record. Results. Overall, 130 of 763 (17.0%) athletes had a diagnosis of asthma. Females (67/280 or 23.9%) had a significantly higher prevalence of asthma than males (63/483 or 13.0%) (p value = 0.001). There was no significant difference in the prevalence of asthma between high- and low-ventilation sports. (p value = 0.201). Conclusions. The prevalence of asthma among varsity athletes at The Ohio State University is 17.0%, which is significantly higher than the reported prevalence of asthma in the general United States population between 18 to 24 years of age. More females had asthma in our study population than males. These data will allow for future studies and development of focused screening programs of collegiate athletes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)845-848
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Asthma
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Athlete
  • Epidemiology
  • Exercise
  • Exercise-induced asthma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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