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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2020 Jun 11

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.10646-7


language: English

Effect of exercise on upper respiratory tract infection in elite runners

Maryam BAYAT 1, Yahya ASEMANI 2 , Samira ASEMANI 3

1 Department of Immunology, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran; 2 Department of Immunology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; 3 School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


BACKGROUND: Since it was assumed that exercise might be a risk factor for upper respiratory tract infection (URTI), the frequency, severity and duration of URTI were assessed in female elite runners compared with matched sedentary group.
METHODS:Oone group of elite runners (n = 20) and sedentary people (n = 20) selected and were matched one by one for their age, nutritional state, their place of living and somewhat genetic factors. These groups were observed for any signs and symptoms of upper respiratory illnesses, during 2.5 cold months of the year.
RESULTS: Although the mean number of the illnesses in elite athletes (1.0 ± 0.8) was slightly lower than the control people (1.4 ± 0.8); there was not any statistically significant difference between them (p-value > 0/05). Furthermore, the mean days of disease (5.4 ± 3.8 in elite athletes vs. 5.6 ± 3.0 in control group) showed no significant statistical difference (p-value > 0/05). Even though elite athletes showed no severe cases of the disease, no significant difference was observed between the two groups (p-value > 0/05).
CONCLUSIONS: Elite athletes are not at greater risk for URTI and this may be due to the suitable physiological status of athletes or attributed to” repeated bout effect” phenomenon.

KEY WORDS: Elite athletes; Sedentary people; Matched; Upper respiratory tract infection

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