Competitive Athletes At Risk For Addiction

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Laurie de Grace

Master’s graduate from the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation
University of Alberta

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Little is known about the development of substance addiction in the context of sport. There is substantial evidence showing a positive association between sport participation and alcohol use, particularly the binge drinking that is more commonly associated with athletes than non-athletes. However, the connection between sport participation and the use of other substances is not clear. We undertook this study to learn from the perspective of those in recovery from substance addiction, how sport may or may not have played a role in their substance use and subsequent addiction.

Continue reading

Which Sports Reduce Risk of Mortality?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Emmaneul Stamatakis PhD, MSc, BSc Associate Professor | NHMRC Senior Research Fellow Charles Perkins Centre, Prevention Research Collaboration School of Public Health, Sydney Medical School The University of Sydney

Dr. Emmaneul Stamatakis

Dr. Emmaneul Stamatakis PhD, MSc, BSc
Associate Professor | NHMRC Senior Research Fellow
Charles Perkins Centre, Prevention Research Collaboration
School of Public Health, Sydney Medical School
The University of Sydney

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We examined the association between participation in different sports and risk of death during subsequent decade in a large sample of >80k adults aged 30 and over who lived in Scotland and England between 2994 and 2008 .

We found the following significant reduction in risk of dying from all causes among participants compared with non-participants: cycling 15%, aerobics 27%, swimming 28%, racquet balls 47%; there was no significant reduction in mortality for running/jogging and football/rugby. We also found the following significant reduction in risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases: aerobics 36%, swimming 41%, racquet balls 56%; there were no significant reduction in mortality for running, cycling and football/rugby. Results in both cases were adjusted for the potential confounders: age, sex, chronic conditions, alcohol drinking and smoking habits, mental health, obesity, education level, doctor-diagnosed CVD, cancer, weekly volume of other physical activity besides the sport (including walking and domestic activity.

Continue reading

Detecting Underlying Cardiovascular Disease in Young Competitive Athletes

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. James McKinney MD MSc FRCP(C)
Division of Cardiology
University of British Columbia

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is the leading medical cause of death in young athletes. Sporting activity may predispose athletes with underlying cardiovascular conditions to develop life threatening ventricular arrhythmias during physical exercise. Despite being a relatively rare event, the death of a young healthy person is a tragic event that is difficult to comprehend. The prevalence of an underlying cardiovascular disorder in young athletes that predisposes to SCD is approximately 0.3%.

Sudden cardiac death is often the first clinical manifestation of an underlying cardiovascular condition; up to 80% of athletes are previously asymptomatic. Pre-participation screening is the systematic practice of medically evaluating athletes for the purpose of identifying (or raising suspicion of) abnormalities that could provoke sudden death. There is agreement amongst sporting and medical bodies that athletes should undergo some form of pre-participation screening. An Achilles’ heel of screening is the significant number of false-positive screens that require subsequent costly secondary testing to rule out disease. Prevention of sudden cardiac death among athletes is a common goal, however the optimal strategy for its achievement is uncertain.

Continue reading

Large Number of Fastballs Contributes To Need For Tommy John Surgery

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Robert Keller, M.D., Chief resident Department of Orthopedic Surgery Henry Ford Hospital Detroit

Dr. Robert Keller

Robert Keller, M.D., Chief resident
Department of Orthopedic Surgery
Henry Ford Hospital Detroit

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Keller:  Injuries to the medial ulnar collateral ligament (the ligament torn in pitchers requiring tommy john surgery) are common in overhead-throwing athletes. Recent data supports that the number of MLB pitchers requiring tommy john surgery continues to increase, with estimates near 25% of all MLB pitchers undergoing tommy john surgery.   Recent investigations have attempted to analyze factors that contribute to UCL injuries with the aim to decrease the rate of injury. Studies have suggested that possible risk factors include pitching mechanics, pitch type (curve ball, fastball, etc), g, pitching fatigue, chronic overuse, and pitch velocity, among other factors.

Specifically, increased pitch velocity has been implicated as a risk factor for UCL injury.  However, no study has exclusively attempted to assess whether MLB pitchers who required Tommy John surgery pitch at a higher velocity than those that do not. Pitch type (fastball, curveball, slider, etc) is another significant factor that has been investigated as a contributor to UCL injuries. Various biomechanical studies have attempted to correlate pitch types with torque across the throwing elbow, with contrasting results: some suggest fastballs create more torque, whereas others found off-speed pitches produce increased stresses. Beyond not evaluating MLB pitchers, these previous studies also failed to evaluate the volume or amount of a specific pitch type thrown by these pitchers that may contribute to UCL injuries.

Continue reading

Subtle Postural Control Changes In Some Soccer Players After Heading

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jaclyn B. Caccese MS The University of Delaware PhD Candidate Biomechanics and Movement Science

Jaclyn Caccese

Jaclyn B. Caccese MS
The University of Delaware
PhD Candidate Biomechanics and Movement Science 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Recently, there has been increased concern regarding the adverse effects of repetitively heading soccer balls on brain function. While some studies have shown impaired balance and vision, it is unclear if these deficits are acute or chronic adaptations. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify changes in postural control and vestibular/ocular motor function immediately following an acute bout of 12 purposeful soccer headers.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: The main finding of this study was that women’s soccer players showed an increase in sway velocity, but no other changes in balance or vestibular/ocular motor function were identified.

Continue reading

More Concussions When NFL Games Played in Below Freezing Temperatures

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. David W. Lawrence, MD
Department of Family & Community Medicine
St Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Lawrence: The risk of all-cause injury and concussion for NFL athletes is significant. There has been a lot of discussion recently about this risk of injury in the NFL and general player safety, particularly regarding concussions. The first step in improving player safety and lowering that risk is to identify the factors affecting injury rates. Once we can answer those questions, we can begin to modify player exposure.

Continue reading

Wrestlers Face High Risk of Skin Infections

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

High School Wrestling Wikipedia

High School Wrestling
Wikipedia Image

Kurt Ashack
Fourth year medical student at Michigan State University, Michigan
Kyle Burton
University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Orlando, Florida

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Skin infections associated with high school athletics have been reported in literature since the late 20th century and while many skin infections are relatively minor, others can cause serious morbidity. Prior reports on skin infections among high school athletes have focused on specific sports or have evaluated relatively small numbers of athletes. No prior report has evaluated skin infections in a large national sample of United States (US) high school athletes across multiple sports.

During the study period, 474 skin infections were reported among 20,858,781 athlete exposures (AE); a rate of 2.27 infections per 100,000 AE. The largest number of skin infections occurred in wrestlers (73.6%), followed by boys’ football (17.9%) and boys’ basketball (1.9%). Baseball and swimming had much fewer cases. The most common infections were bacterial (60.6%), tinea (28.4%) and herpetic (5.2%) infections. Body parts most often affected were the head/face (25.3%), forearm (12.7%) and upper arm (8%). The average time for return to play was 3-6 days (45.5%). It was also interesting to note how many more infections there were in boys than girls. Girls’ volleyball had the most of girls’ sports, but all girl reports did not near the boy’s number.

Continue reading

Pre-College Youth Sports Concussions Occur More Often During Practice

Thomas P. Dompier, PhD, ATC President and Injury Epidemiologist Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention, Inc Indianapolis, IN 46202 Adjunct Faculty Appointments Ohio University Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions University of South CarolinaMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Thomas P. Dompier, PhD, ATC
President and Injury Epidemiologist
Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention, Inc
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Adjunct Faculty Appointments
Ohio University Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions
University of South Carolina

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

D: Dompler: Per the Institute of Medicine’s recent recommendations to better describe the incidence of concussion in sport across the entire spectrum of youth sports (5-23 years), this study is the first to provide an apples-to-apples comparison using epidemiologic data provided by healthcare providers (athletic trainers) who attended all practices and games and used the same methodology to report concussions and student-athlete exposure information.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?

D: Dompler:
a.  The main findings are that the risk (how many players out of 100 can expect to suffer at least one concussion during the season) is lowest in the youth, and increases with age.

b. Game concussion rates (how many players out of 1000 exposed during a practice or game, includes multiple concussions to the same player) are highest in college but practice concussion rates are lowest in college during practice.  This suggests more can be done during high school and youth practices to reduce concussion frequency (e.g. limiting how much time can be devoted to full contact, reducing player-to-player contact by teaching proper tackling without using full contact drills such as the Oklahoma drill and others).

c. While the rate is higher, there is still a substantial number of concussions that occur during practice (because there are more practices), therefore sports medicine staff should be available at both if possible (this is difficult at the youth level because of cost, however).

Continue reading

Some Athletes May Need Salt Supplementation During Endurance Events

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Juan Del Coso Garrigós
Profesor CC. de la Act. Física y del Deporte
Responsable del Laboratorio de Fisiología del Ejercicio
UNIVERSIDAD CAMILO JOSÉ CELA

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: From a scientific point of view, it is well known that salt (either in capsules or included in a drink) can improve physical performance and several other physiological factors such as plasma volume maintenance, thermoregulation, etc in endurance activities.  These effects are more evident when the amount of salt ingested during exercise matches the amount of salt lost by sweating.  By using only sports drinks, it is impossible to replace all the salt lost by sweating because they only contain a relatively small amount of salt in their compositions (between ½ and 1/3 of the amount of salt lost by sweating).

In fact, some of the investigations that determined the effectiveness of ingesting salt in sports have been financed by most popular sport drinks trademarks.  However, sports drink companies only include a part of the salt lost by sweating because for them, taste is elemental for their markets!  I suppose that, if they include more salt in their commercially available drinks, they would be more effective to prevent dehydration and performance decline, but at the same time, the taste of the drink would diminish the amount of beverage ingested worldwide.

In this case, in the sport drinks market there is a well- established balance between taste and physiological effectiveness.

As an example, most “salted” sport drinks contain 20-25 mM of sodium while it is well known that sweat sodium concentration ranges from 20 to 60 mM (salty sweater can reach 100 mM!!).  This is not a regulatory limitation, because UE considers sports drinks to carbohydrate-electrolyte solutions that contain sodium between 20 and 50 mM.

Our main finding is: To ingest salt capsules, in addition to the habitual rehydration routines with sports drinks, improves performance in a triathlon.  This ergogenic effect was mediated by better maintenance of body water and electrolytes balances.

Continue reading

Law Brings More Student Athletes To ER For Sports-Related Concussions

Dr. Pina Violano, RN, PhD Trauma Department, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Injury Free Coalition for Kids of New Haven Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital New Haven 06510, CTMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Pina Violano, RN, PhD

Trauma Department, Yale-New Haven Hospital,
Injury Free Coalition for Kids of New Haven
Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital
New Haven 06510, CT

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Violano: In July of 2012, Connecticut became one of the first states to enact legislation to ensure the safety and appropriate evaluation and management of sports-related concussions (SRC) among High School students. SRCs are a common occurrence in high school sports with their diagnosis increasing over the last decade. While the exact reasons are not known, public health campaign efforts and education may have facilitated improvement in the evaluation and detection of sports-related concussions and may have contributed to increase awareness and treatment.

MedicalResearch: What are the main findings?

Dr. Violano: Evaluation of two emergency department records revealed a marked increase in the frequency of high school student athletes being treated for sports-related concussions after the implementation of Connecticut’s SRC law. This suggests that Connecticut’s legislation is effective in improving the evaluation and detection of sports-related concussions in high school students.

Continue reading

Study Addresses Mental Health Concerns In Professional Footballers

Prof.dr. Judith K. Sluiter Principal Investigator Manager KMKA: Kenniscentrum Medische Keuringen in Arbeid Nationaal secretaris voor ICOH (International Commission on Occupational Health) Coronel Instituut voor Arbeid en Gezondheid, Academisch Medisch Centrum / UvA Meibergdreef AmsterdamMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Prof.dr. Judith K. Sluiter Principal Investigator
Manager KMKA: Kenniscentrum Medische Keuringen in Arbeid
Nationaal secretaris voor ICOH (International Commission on Occupational Health)
Coronel Instituut voor Arbeid en Gezondheid, Academisch Medisch Centrum / UvA Meibergdreef Amsterdam

Medical Research: What is the background for this study?

Prof. Sluiter: Professional footballers contain a group of employees working in a job with specific job demands. The occupational guidance and prevention of decreased work functioning of workers in these kinds of jobs should receive more attention. The mental health of professional footballers receive less attention compared to their physical health. We studied the prevalence of self-reported mental health problems and psychosocial difficulties in a group of current and former professional footballers, and we explored the association between having had psychosocial stressors and the health conditions under study.

Medical Research: What are the main findings?

Response: The response rate was 29% with available data from 253 footballers. In current players, the prevalence of mental health complaints ranged from 5% (burnout) to 26% (anxiety/depression). In former players, the prevalence ranged from 16% (burnout) to 39% (anxiety/depression). A small percentage of players had low self-esteem (3-5%). One quarter to two-fifth of the players showed adverse nutrition behaviour. Small but significant association between experiencing lower social support (OR=1.1) and having had recent life events (OR=1.4-1.6) and mental health complaints were found in current players. Having had severe injuries was associated with better nutrition behavior. In former players, having had life events showed a preventive effect on smoking (OR=0.4) and having had previous surgery was significantly associated with current smoking behavior (OR=1.9).

Continue reading

Sports Improve Quality of Life For Kidney Transplant Patients

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Elvira Cicognani PhD
Department of Psychology
School of Psychology and Education, University of Bologna
Piazza Aldo Moro, 90 – Cesena, Italy –
Viale Berti Pichat, 5 – Bologna, Italy

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Cicognani: The study is part of a larger project of the Italian National Transplant Center (Centro Nazionale Trapianti, CNT), started in 2008, in collaboration with Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Centro Studi Isokinetic, University of Bologna, Cimurri Impresa e Sport and Patients’ associations. The general aim is to encourage transplant patients to practice physical activity and even sport activity, in view of its benefits in enhancing recovery and quality of life after transplantation.

In this study we assessed Health-related quality of life on 118 active kidney transplant patients practicing different sports at low to moderate intensity and compared them with those of 79 sedentary kidney transplant patients and with 120 active healthy control subjects.

Active transplant patients reported higher levels of quality of life than sedentary patients on most dimensions of quality of life and similar to active healthy controls. In brief, practicing sports may allow patients to achieve a level of quality of life similar to the general population of active individuals.
Continue reading