Life-style characteristics and cardiovascular risk factors in regular downhill skiers: an observational study
1 Department of Sport Science, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
2 Department of Neurology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
3 Department of Pharmacology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
4 Department of Sport Science, Medical Section, University of Innsbruck, Fürstenweg 185, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria
BMC Public Health 2013, 13:788 doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-788Published: 29 August 2013
Downhill skiing is part of active life style in many residents of Alpine regions. However, only very little information is available whether downhill skiing on a regular basis is associated with a healthier life style resulting in the reduction of major risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and memory deficits when compared to the general population. Thus, the aim of the study was to compare life-style characteristics and cardiovascular risk factors between regular downhill skiers and the general population.
Self-reported health and life-style data were collected by questionnaire from 1259 long-term downhill skiers (971 males, aged 57.3 ± 14.6 years; 288 females, aged 47.7 ± 16.4 years) and compared with data from the general population.
Long-term skiers showed more favourable life-style characteristics and a better health status than the general population. Prevalences of hypercholesterolemia, systemic hypertension, diabetes, the frequency of mental stress and the occurrence of memory deficits declined with increasing yearly skiing frequency.
Long-term alpine skiing on a regular basis may contribute to healthy aging by its association with a healthier life style.