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A Journal on Sports Medicine

Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
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Medicina dello Sport 2002 June;55(2):83-8


language: Italian

Sport and smoking in an Italian district

Bonetti A. 1, Soresi P. 1, Drago E., Fiorella P. L. 3, Anedda A. 4, Battistini G. 4, Bernardi G. 4, D’Andrea A. 4, Mittiga M. 4, Sgarzi S. 4, Vitali U. 4

1 Cattedra di Medicina dello Sport, Università degli Studi di Parma, Parma; 2 Istituto di Medicina dello Sport CONI-FMSI, Bologna; 3 Check-up Center, Modena; 4 Associazioni Medico Sportive FMSI di Parma e Piacenza, Forlì-Cesena, Ravenna, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna, Ferrara


Background. Although physical activity is generally considered inversely related with smoking, data from literature are poor, not recent and conflicting.
Methods. In order to assess the prevalence of tobacco use, with the assistance of local Association of Sport Medicine Italian Federation, we have analyzed the data concerning physical examination (evaluating the eligibility to agonistic competition) performed in Sports Medicine Centers of Emilia Romagna (Italy) during 2000. The study involved 26,436 subjects, 21,908 males and 4,528 females, compared with national and regional epidemiological data.
Results. The prevalence of smokers among athletes is 24.0%, nearly the same as in regional and national general population (24.9-26.2% respectively). There are instead great differences between males (25.9 vs 30.7-34.9%) and females (14.9 vs 19.6-17.6%). Because of the large difference in the number of our subjects (males 82.9%, females 17.1%), it is not possible to take any conclusion about a possible protective effect against tobacco use. The same differences in the number of athletes are present when considering the single sports. However prevalence of smokers seems to be greater in team sports (25.9%) than in individual ones (21.1%).
Conclusions. Apart of these observations suggesting further studies to better understand this social problem, it is definitely sure that in Emilia Romagna tabagism in sports active people has the same diffusion as in general population.

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