North American medical and health history survey of 2009 world masters games participants

Mark de Beliso, Mike Climstein, Kent Adams, Joe Walsh, Stephen Burke, Ian Heazlewood, Jyrki Kettunen

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate


    Introduction: World Masters Games athletes have either pursued a physically active lifestyle for an extended period of time or have initiated exercise/sport in later life. Regardless of their motivation(s), this unique cohort of middle- to older-aged adults remains relatively uninvestigated with regards to the incidence of diverse chronic disorders. The purpose of this investigation was to document the different aspects of health of the Sydney 2009 World Masters Games North American participants.

    Methodology: An online survey was utilized to investigate three primary areas of interest: participant's demographics, physiological measures of health, and medical health history (diseases and disorders diagnosed by participant's GP/specialist as well as prescribed medications).

    Results: A total of 928 participants from Canada and the United States (age 52.6 ± 9.8 yrs, range 27–87 yrs) completed the survey, 55% reported having previously competed in the World Masters Games. Top 5 sports in which participants competed were football (25.6%), track/field (15.4%), swimming (8.4%), volleyball (8.2%), and softball (7.8%). A very few (2.5%) reported currently smoking with a current average 65 cigs/wk, 13.6% were ex-smokers; alcohol consumers (82.0%) with an average consumption of 4.7 drinks/wk, and 0.6% were ex-drinkers. Top 5 chronic disorders reported by participants were: rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis (10.0%), hypertension (HTN, 9.1%), hyperlipidemia (8.0%), asthma (6.5%), and depression (5.3%). Participants also reported angina (0.9%) and acute myocardial infarction (0.9%). Top 3 operative treatments reported were: knee replacement/repair (12.2%), hernia repair (6.1%) and herniated disc surgery (2.0%). Top 4 Rx’d meds taken by participants were: anti-HTN (6.9%), thyroid hormones (6.6%), hypolipidaemic (6.0%), and meds to increase bone strength (5.9%).

    Conclusions: Based upon normative comparisons, the incidence of chronic diseases/disorders reported by North American participants of the 2009 World Masters Games appears to be low for the incidence of HTN, hyperlipidemia, arthritis, asthma, and depression.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number162
    Pages (from-to)e79-e80
    Number of pages2
    JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
    Issue numberSupplement 1
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
    Event2011 Australian Conference of Science and Medicine in Sport: Optimising health and fitness–Participation, prevention and performance -
    Duration: 19 Oct 201122 Oct 2011


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