Transplantee athlete training characteristics

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Transplantee Athletes (TrA) with a desire to return to sport face a plethora of unremitting challenges. Although TrA’s largely manage compromised physiological function and multi-morbid conditions alongside an array of medication, evidence suggests that some TrA’s regain near normal sporting performances. For example, in recent months American Aries Merritt, finished 4th in the 60m hurdles at the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham. For competing TrA’s attending annual competitive Transplant events, there is a paucity of knowledge and information on training for competitive sport. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore current training characteristics of TrA’s. Following ethics approval, 220 athletes (139 male, 81 female) competing at the British or World Transplant Games completed an online questionnaire. The TrA population consisted of Kidney =95, Liver =50, Hearts =35, Stem cell =21, Lung =11, Heart and Liver =4, Kidney and Pancreas =3, Pancreas =1. TrA’s currently participate on average in 4+2 events when attending Transplant Games in which 77.7% competed in sport prior to their transplant and 23% competed at a County or National level. Comparisons of training load for a regular training week pre-transplant Vs current reports an increase for Kidney recipients who competed pre-transplant for fun or at club level (+1577), whereas Heart recipients of previously County or National level train at reduced weekly loads (-1370). Multidisciplinary support is limited with 39% coached towards their main sport, only 29% feel they can train at the same intensity as a non-transplantee athlete. In conclusion, TrA’s are in general able to train at an equivalent or greater weekly training load than pre-transplant, however, Heart recipients who pre-transplant were County or National level athletes generally aren’t reaching pre-transplant training loads. Of concern is the lack of advice and support available for TrA’s regarding post-transplant event training and sporting participation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - Feb 2019
EventTime to Move International Transplantoux Symposium : Physical activity and exercise as medicine in organ transplantation. It's time to move! - Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
Duration: 8 Feb 20199 Feb 2019


ConferenceTime to Move International Transplantoux Symposium


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