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Research group

Swimming-induced pulmonary edema (SIPE)

About this group

Group information


Maria Hårdstedt

Research subject

Coughing, shortness of breath, and sudden fatigue during open water swimming can be signs of swimming-induced pulmonary edema (SIPE). SIPE has been described during military training in cold water but also occurs in triathletes and recreational swimmers during open water swimming. A similar condition, commonly referred to as immersion pulmonary edema (IPE), occurs in divers. SIPE/IPE is, in the vast majority of cases, benign and reversible if water-based physical activity is discontinued but may require hospitalization in severe cases. Among divers, deaths have been reported as a result of IPE, and undoubtedly there is an underreporting that could explain both diving and swimming accidents. The condition is becoming more recognized among swimmers and divers today, but there is still a lack of knowledge in several important areas. Since 2017, our research group has been investigating SIPE in conjunction with the Vansbrosimningen - Sweden's largest open water swimming event with approximately 10,000 participants annually.

We address a broad range of questions related to diagnosis, incidence, risk factors, pathogenesis, acute treatment, and long-term consequences of experiencing SIPE. Our goal with the research is to enhance safety in open water swimming, understand  individual factors predisposing for SIPE and how patients with SIPE should be treated and followed. 

Our research group is based at the Center for Clinical Research Dalarna and affiliated with Örebro University. The group consists of researchers and clinicians within Region Dalarna, Region Gävleborg, and Region Örebro County. We collaborate with researchers nationally and internationally.

Group leader
Maria Hårdstedt, Centrum för klinisk forskning Dalarna
Phone: +46-73-808 94 64