Study: Girls’ Shortness Of Breath Not A Major Concern

April 22, 2013 / Sports Medicine
Winston-Salem Journal

The shortness of breath and chest aches that some teenage female athletes experience during play may not be a major health concern after all, according to a Cone Health-sponsored study released last week.

The report from the LeBauer Cardiovascular Research Foundation determined the symptoms “may just be a part of growing up.” The findings are published in the latest issue of Current Sports Medicine Reports.

Previous research from multiple sources have found that middle and high school girls who engage in sports have chest pains and shortness of breath nearly twice as often as their male counterparts.

Oftentimes, they and their parents are told them may have asthma or other breathing problems.

“It is particularly a problem for fit, motivated young women trying to excel in high school sports,” said co-author Chris Kelly, a medical student at East Carolina’s Brody School of Medicine.

Participants in the foundation’s study were examined to ensure they had healthy and normal hearts. They then were put through strenuous exercise.

What researchers found is that under high exertion, many young female athletes were limited mostly because their lungs had not grown to the size where they can bring in enough oxygen to keep up with the demand.

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