Background: Increasing evidence indicates adherence to exercise throughout life is concurrent with improved health. World masters games (WMG) have more participants than any other international sporting competition and is under investigated, particularly with regard to indices of cardiovascular disease risk. Therefore, we chose to investigate selected cardiovascular risk factors in WMG participants.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional, observational study which utilized a web-based questionnaire to survey cardiovascular risk factors of WMG participants. The survey consisted of three sections: basic demographics, medical history and physiological parameters which included Body Mass Index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), resting blood pressure (BP) and lipids (total cholesterol [TC], high density lipoprotein [HDL] and low density lipoprotein [LDL]). RESULTS A total of 1435 participants, 872 male, aged 27-91 years (mean age 54.99 years) participated in the study. Key findings included significant differences (P<0.05) between genders in BMI (17.7%, P<0.001), WC (10.6%, P<0.001), resting SBP (5.8%, P<0.001) and resting DBP (4.8%, P<0.001). Significant differences were also found between genders in HDLs (15.2%, P<0.001), TC:HDL ratio (17.2%, P<0.001) and LDL:HDL ratio (19.0%, P<0.001). Significant differences (P<0.001) were also identified when comparing WMG lipid results to the Australian general population (TC P<0.001; HDLs P<0.001; LDLs P<0.001).
Conclusions: A high percentage of WMG participants demonstrated optimal values in a number of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk fac-tors when compared to the general population, female WMG participants had better values as compared to males. This reflected a decreased CVD in WMG participants and supports our hypothesis of enhanced health characteristics in an active, but aged cohort.