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Old 12-14-2012, 01:54 PM   #174
Darryl Shaw
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 681

Mortality in former Olympic athletes: retrospective cohort analysis.


Objective: To assess the mortality risk in subsequent years (adjusted for year of birth, nationality, and sex) of former Olympic athletes from disciplines with different levels of exercise intensity.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Setting: Former Olympic athletes.

Participants: 9889 athletes (with a known age at death) who participated in the Olympic Games between 1896 and 1936, representing 43 types of disciplines with different levels of cardiovascular, static, and dynamic intensity exercise; high or low risk of bodily collision; and different levels of physical contact.

Main outcome measure: All cause mortality.

Results: Hazard ratios for mortality among athletes from disciplines with moderate cardiovascular intensity (1.01, 95% confidence interval 0.96 to 1.07) or high cardiovascular intensity (0.98, 0.92 to 1.04) were similar to those in athletes from disciplines with low cardiovascular intensity. The underlying static and dynamic components in exercise intensity showed similar non-significant results. Increased mortality was seen among athletes from disciplines with a high risk of bodily collision (hazard ratio 1.11, 1.06 to 1.15) and with high levels of physical contact (1.16, 1.11 to 1.22). In a multivariate analysis, the effect of high cardiovascular intensity remained similar (hazard ratio 1.05, 0.89 to 1.25); the increased mortality associated with high physical contact persisted (hazard ratio 1.13, 1.06 to 1.21), but that for bodily collision became non-significant (1.03, 0.98 to 1.09) as a consequence of its close relation with physical contact.

Conclusions: Among former Olympic athletes, engagement in disciplines with high intensity exercise did not bring a survival benefit compared with disciplines with low intensity exercise. Those who engaged in disciplines with high levels of physical contact had higher mortality than other Olympians later in life.
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