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A Journal on Sports Medicine

Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
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Medicina dello Sport 1998 June;51(2):157-60


language: Italian

Medical-sporting aspects of the long lasting performances in mountaineering

Rossi A. A.

Club Alpino Italiano, Sezione Ligure, Sottosezione Bolzaneto


Considering the shortage of studies on the matter, four sound and well trained mountain-climbers (average age 45 years), have been studied for an interrupted duration of 24 hours of performance.
They have covered 6000 metres of difference in height as well as 6000 metres downhill.
The valuation covered the main viable functions (nerve reflexes, cardiovascular apparatus, metabolism, hepatic and muscular functionality) and it has been carried out before, during and after the performance. The results which have been obtained, can be summarised as follows:
1) The nerve reflexes remained nearly unchanged notwithstanding the non-sleep and the physical effort accumulated.
2) The electrocardiographic survey has net shown any ischaemia or overloads; the only thing remarked was a very normal tachycardia due to the effort.
3) The maximum arterial pressure dropped a lot (30 millimetres of mercury) after 16-18 hours of performance then it recovered.
4) From the check of the urine it was remarked the following: an increase of the specific weight, increase of ketone bodies, microhaematuria as well as a presence of proteins.
5) As regards the haematology level, in addition to a drop of glycaemia (-10%), potassium (-10%) and triglycerides (-50%), cholesterol appeared being unchanged, while the following values of azotemia (+100%), LDH (+26%), SGOT/AST (+85%) and CPK (+500%) resulted being increased.
A check carried out after 72 hours showed that all values became normal. This job showed how a 24 hours uninterrupted sporting performance, (considering the heavy engagement for the cardiovascular apparatus and the renal, hepatic and muscular functionality), is well supported by sound and well trained persons, with a physiological recovery within the third day of rest.

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