Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

In the general population, physical activity is associated with improved health outcomes. However, long-term sports participation may be associated with adverse outcomes, particularly at the elite level. The aims of this study were to assess morbidity and health-related quality of life (HrQoL) amongst former rugby players, compared to an age-standardised general population sample. A cross-sectional study of former elite, male, rugby players (n = 259) was undertaken, and standardised morbidity ratios (SMR) calculated, assessing morbidity prevalence relative to English Longitudinal Study of Aging participants (ELSA, n = 5186). HrQoL, measured using the EQ-5D, was compared to a Health Survey for England (HSE, n = 2981) sample. In SMR analyses of participants aged 50+, diabetes was significantly lower amongst former players, (0.28, 95% CI 0.11-0.66), whereas osteoarthritis (4.00, 95% CI 3.32-4.81), joint replacement (6.02, 95% CI 4.66-7.77), osteoporosis (2.69, 95% CI 1.35-5.38), and anxiety (2.00, 95% CI 1.11-3.61) were significantly higher. More problems in HrQoL were reported amongst former players within the domains of mobility (p 

Original publication




Journal article


Sci rep

Publication Date





Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Anxiety, Cross-Sectional Studies, Diabetes Mellitus, Football, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis, Quality of Life