Tobacco Use and Its Health Effects among Professional Athletes in Qatar
The objective of the study was to determine the effects of tobacco use on selected markers of health and lung function in professional athletes. A total of 108 male professional athletes participated in the study from ten ball game teams in the same sport league in Qatar (age = 26.4 ± 5.1 yrs, height = 190.6 ± 11.9 cm, and weight = 91.5 ± 16.4 kg). The athletes have been playing professionally for about 6.3 years on average. In addition to demographic and tobacco use status, the following clinical variables were measured: resting blood pressure, heart rate, FVC, FEV1 sec, and PEF. The prevalence of tobacco use among the athletes was 27.7%. The FVC, FVC%, and FEV1% were significantly lower among the smokers compared to the nonsmokers (p = 0.003, 0.044, and 0.001, resp.). There were no significant differences between cigarettes smokers and nonsmokers in BP, HR, FEV1, FEV1/FVC, PEF, and PEF%. Similarly, those who smoked shisha had lower FEV1% values as compared to those who did not smoke shisha (p = 0.001). The decrease of FEV1 and FVC among smokers compared to nonsmokers is similar to what has been reported in the literature about other populations.