Characteristics of transplant athletes competing at national and international transplant games

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    Objective: To describe the characteristics of athletes with solid-organ transplants (TxA) attending the British and World Transplant Games. Methods: 220 TxA completed an online survey to explore transplant history, medications, training advice and support and limitations to training. Results: TxA were predominantly caucasian, male, kidney recipients in their mid-forties and approximately 11 years post-transplant. The majority of TxA took some form of medication (immunosuppressants 88%, steroids 47%, antihypertensives 47%, statins 28%, antiplatelets 26%, antibiotics/antivirals/antifungals 20%). Stem cell recipients were least likely to require medication. Post-transplant complications were experienced by 40% of TxA, with 53% of these being rejection. Although over half the participants (57%) initially received exercise or training advice post-transplant, only 34% of these received this from their consultants or immediate medical team. Only 1% had been specifically directed towards transplant sport. Half of the TxA (53%) perceived there were limitations preventing them from performing at their potential, 45% considered they did not recover from training as well as non-TxA while 29% felt they trained equally to non-Tx’s. Only 6% considered medication impaired training. TxA competed for a range of reasons from social and health benefits to winning medals. Conclusions: TxA compete at the British and World Transplant Games for a diverse range of reasons. Athletes manage a range of medications with a range of exercise and health experiences pre-transplant. TxA face a lack of both general and specific exercise training and recovery guidance. The individuality of each TxA‘s background should be considered and is likely reflected in their exercise capacity and goals.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere001248
    Number of pages7
    JournalBMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2022

    Bibliographical note

    This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the
    Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits
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    The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any
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    • Original research
    • 1506
    • assessing physical training modalities in enhancing sports performance
    • athlete
    • exercise physiology
    • training
    • sports


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