Effect of sport-related traumas on the adaptive capacities of old and very old persons

S. F. Salehov, O.M. Ivko (St. Petersburg Institute of Bioregulation and Gerontology, Russia; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; ”On Clinic”, Institute of Modern Medicine, Almaty, Kazakhstan )

Adaptation to physical loads is a reaction of the whole organism, but heavy physical loads and specific alterations in different organs may provoke diseases. Some researchers consider professional sports to disrupt the homeostatic balance of the organism. This is especially true for “bigtime” sports, being characterized by extensive and intensive training (2-4 workouts a day) for several years. In this case excessive loads and stress play the role of etiologic and complicating factors for the damage of tissues and development of diseases. All this is even more aggravated in the process of ageing and infringes the adaptive capacities of the organism. Our work was aimed at estimating the capability of ex-sportsmen to adapt to their conditions of life. The experimental group consisted of 56 persons aged 59-84 years, who were professional sportsmen in their young years and attained the rank of a Master of Sports. The control group was made up of 61 person aged 62-67 years, who were never engaged in any sports. To estimate the quality of life (QL) of ex-sportsmen, we used our own questionnaire, containing some questions reflecting the extent of their adaptation to the conditions of their life. The questionnaire was made up basing on the common test form “SF-36 Health Status Survey” and special test form “VF-14 - Visual Function”. The comparison of test results showed a reduced quality of life in both groups, but the self-estimation of health status of ex-sportsmen was lower, than of their equals in age from the control group. So, 82,1% of the main group participants regarded their quality of life as significantly or sharply reduced, while the control group had only 44,3% of respondents with significantly reduced or sharply reduced QL index. Low QL self-estimation of ex-sportsmen was related mainly to the inability of the patients to engage in significant physical activities. Multiple diseases of the locomotor apparatus, as well as neurological and vision disorders affected their physical activity, making them to stay indoors for the greater part of time. Lack of movement was the main cause of changing of the activity way of life, and, as a consequence, of their poor state of health. The obtained data prompt a conclusion that disease severity and adaptive capacities of the patients’ organism do not correspond with each other.