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MEDICINA DELLO SPORT
A Journal on Sports Medicine
Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, EMBASE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 0,163
SPORTS MEDICINE ... FOR SPORT
Medicina dello Sport 2002 March;55(1):51-9
Sports medicine applied to skyrunning
Roi G. S.
Federazione Sport d’Altitudine e Centro Studi Isokinetic, Bologna
Skyrunning is an emerging competitive activity performed at high altitude (between 2,000 and 5,200 m with race time between 34 min and 10 hrs), that must be known by the sports physicians. The papers published in the international scientific literature show that during the races only 1% of the athletes withdraw for minor traumas happened in downhill. Blood analysis showed that transient hormonal changes from normal reference values were restored within 24 hrs. Erythrocytes, hemoglobin and packed cell volume are always within normal ranges and did not show significant differences between pre- and postrace values. The hematological parameters are modified by more than 10 days of acclimatization at altitude higher than 5,000 m. These data suggest that racing at altitudes up to 5,200 m leads to some physiological effects similar to those observed at low altitude. In conclusion: competitive running at high altitude does not present a substantial increase in health risk more than those encountered at low altitude provided that the athletes are well-trained, altitude acclimatized and medically controlled.