Chronic prescription medication use in endurance runners: a cross-sectional study in 76,654 race entrants - SAFER XV

To determine the prevalence of chronic prescription medication (CPM) use in distant runners (by age and sex) and to compare CPM use in 21.1 km vs. 56 km race entrants. A cross-sectional study of 76,654 race entrants who completed a pre-race medical screening questionnaire during race registration, w...

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Published in: The Physician and sportsmedicine pp. 1 - 10
Main Authors: Jooste, Marcel, Schwellnus, Martin, Sewry, Nicola, Janse Van Rensburg, Dina C Christa, Ramagole, Dimakatso A, Swanevelder, Sonja, Jordaan, Esme
Format: Journal Article
Language: English
Published: England 03-02-2021
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Summary: To determine the prevalence of chronic prescription medication (CPM) use in distant runners (by age and sex) and to compare CPM use in 21.1 km vs. 56 km race entrants. A cross-sectional study of 76,654 race entrants who completed a pre-race medical screening questionnaire during race registration, which included questions on the use of CPM and CPM use in eight main categories of CPM. Prevalence (%, 95%CIs) and prevalence ratios (PR) are reported. The prevalence of any CPM use was 12.5% (12.2-12.8). CPM use was higher in older age categories vs. the youngest age category (31-40 yrs vs. ≤30 yrs: PR = 1.4; 41-50 yrs vs. ≤30 yrs: PR = 2.1; >50 yrs vs. ≤30 yrs: PR = 3.4) (p < 0.0001) and females vs. males (PR = 1.1; p < 0.0001). The use of any CPM was significantly higher in 21.1 km vs. 56 km race entrants (PR = 1.2; p < 0.0001). Prevalence of CPM use in main categories was: blood pressure lowering medication (3.7%), cholesterol lowering medication (3.6%), asthma medication (3.1%), and medication to treat anxiety/depression (2.6%). The pattern of CPM in the main categories differed between 21.1 km and 56 km race entrants. One in eight race entrants use CPM, with a higher prevalence of use among older race entrants, female vs. males, and 21.1 km vs. 56 km race entrants. Frequent CPMs used are blood pressure lowering medication, cholesterol lowering medication, asthma medication, and medication to treat anxiety/depression. The use of CPM medications may increase the risk of medical complications during exercise, and these data help identify subgroups of entrants that may be at higher risk for race medical encounters.
ISSN: 0091-3847
2326-3660
DOI: 10.1080/00913847.2021.1885965