A new study suggests that people who enjoy swimming in the sea are more likely to get sick with stomach bugs, ear troubles, and other types of disease than their peers who don’t.
A research team at the U.K.-based University of Exeter Medical School sifted through 19 research papers involving over 120,000 people in the study. Most studies focused on the link between the quality of sea water and rates of illness in developed countries like New Zealand, U.S., U.K., and Noraway.
The meta-analysis revealed that sea bathing is linked to a twofold risk of ear ailments. Also, the risk of earache jumped 77% in swimmers if their favorite swim place was the sea. The risk of contracting a stomach bug also jumped 29%.
Co-author Dr. Anne Leonard noted that, in the developed nations, there is a misconception that swimming in the sea is generally safe. However, the new research clearly shows that that is not the case.
Swimming in the Sea Tied to Increased Risk of Various Ailments
Spending time in the sea can lead to various health conditions like earache, diarrhea, and stomach ache even in the world’s richest countries. This suggests that even in these parts of the world, pollution is still a huge problem.
The study is the first meta-analysis to look into the link between sea bathing and the risk of illness and compare the results with non-bathers. Developed nations have invested a lot in combating sea pollution, but it seems that seawater continues to be polluted from sewage, industrial waste, and farmland byproducts.
Dr. Will Gaze underlined that the latest findings don’t want to discourage people from swimming in the sea, as sea bathing has many health benefits like well-being and improved physical fitness. But, people should also be aware of the risks so they know what works best for them.
Image Source: Pixabay
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