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A Journal on Sports Medicine

Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
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Medicina dello Sport 2005 March;58(1):29-35

language: Italian

Analysis of the body mass index (BMI) in athletes over age 18 examined at the Sports Medicine Services of the Republic of San Marino in a 1-year period

Benedettini M. M.

Responsabile del Servizio di Medicina dello Sport (I.S.S.) della Repubblica di San Marino


Aim. We wanted to determine the percentage of overweight individuals among athletes over age 18 examined at the Sports Medicine Services of the Republic of San Marino in a 1-year period (15 August 2003-15 August 2004).
Methods. We measured the body mass index (BMI) of 615 athletes aged 18 or over. Based on a mathematical formula devised by Quetelet, the BMI (weight in kg divided by height in m2 ) is a universally recognized measure of adiposity. The simplicity and accuracy of the index in measuring weight and height have made it a commonly used instrument in anthropometrics. In this study we adopted the physical status classification proposed by the World Health Organization to categorize the study group’s weight and height.
Results. We identified 391 (63.5%) individuals with ideal body weight, 7 (1.2%) underweight and 217 (35.3%) overweight subjects. The overweight subjects were further subdivided into overweight (32.2%), 18 (2.9%) grade 1 overweight and 1 (0.2%) grade 2 overweight subjects. Although wide, the age range covered a fairly representative segment of the physically active population.
Conclusion. The close correlation between BMI and health risk emphasizes a serious problem the sports physician faces when evaluating athletes who want to practice sports that are unsuited to their physical status. The increasing frequency of concomitant hypertension and/or dislipidemia, both risk factors for heart disease, further complicates the physical examination of fitness.

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