Health amongst former rugby union players: A cross-sectional study of morbidity and health-related quality of life.
Davies MAM., D Judge A., Delmestri A., P T Kemp S., Stokes KA., Arden NK., Newton JL.
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