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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 December;51(4):383-91

language: Italian

The importance of stress test in the judgement for competitive sports fitness

Poletti G., Soldati A., Speziale F., Cellini M., Brunelli D.

Centro di Medicina dello Sport, Azienda USL Bologna Sud, Casalecchio di Reno (Bologna)


In order to verify the importance of Stress test (Treadmill) in the evaluation of sport fitness we have examined 1045 athletes, divided into 3 age groups (436 aged under 34, 67 aged between 35 and 39, 542 over 40) during a period of 5 years (from February 1993 to February 1998).
This study showed how the Stress test either detected or confirmed the presence of cardiologic abnormalities which led to 134 unfitness judgements (12.8% of the whole sample).
The Stress test is requested accordingly to COCIS protocols; our study shows however that age is, together with a given pathology, one of the reasons why the test is required: in elder athletes the risk of silent IC is quite relevant considering the incidence of sudden death in ageing athletes.
The test showed to be more reliable than step-test in detecting silent IC; unlike the step-test, the Stress test was able to deteot signal of such pathology in 45 athletes (41 of them aged over 40), (4.3% of the whole sample).
Considering that only in athletes aged over 40 has the silent IC been confirmed, we suggest that, in the re-examining of the DM 18/2/1982, Stress test should be made compulsory for athletes aged over 40.
We, nevertheless suggest the exam be requested just once every two years so as to reduce to minimum the higher economic and structural costs on the National Health Service.

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