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High hopes: lower risk of death due to mental disorders and self-harm in a century-long US Olympian cohort compared with the general population

Abstract : Objective: To determine the risk of death due to prominent mental disorders, substance abuse, and self-harm among US Olympians compared with the general population.

Methods:All female (n=2301) and male (n=5823) US Olympians who participated in the summer or winter Games between 1912 and 2012 were followed until 2016. The National Death Index certified their vital statuses and causes of death. We performed a Standard Mortality Ratio (SMR) analysis for all causes studied and applied the years-saved (YS) method to quantify differences in the risk of death for (1) anxiety, depression and self-harm and (2) substance abuse and eating disorders. Additionally, we examined the YS across sports with greater than 100 total deaths and between medalists and non-medalists. Results US Olympians had a 32% (SMR=0.68, 95% CI 0.49 to 0.91) lower risk of death compared with the general population, resulting in a longevity advantage of 0.21 YS (95% CI 0.14 to 0.29) for deaths by depression, anxiety and self-harm and 0.12 years (95% CI 0.08 to 0.15) for substance abuse and eating disorders. There were no significant differences between medalists and non-medalists, but findings varied by sports. Most sports (eg, athletics, swimming, rowing) had significantly lower risks of deaths than the general population with the exceptions of fencing and shooting. Shooting showed a trend towards a higher risk through suicide by firearm.

Conclusion: Olympians have a lower risk of death, favouring an increased longevity compared with the general population for mental disorders, substance abuse and suicides.
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https://hal-insep.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03261365
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Soumis le : mardi 15 juin 2021 - 16:15:15
Dernière modification le : mardi 28 septembre 2021 - 17:14:54
Archivage à long terme le : : jeudi 16 septembre 2021 - 18:59:04

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Stephanie L. Duncombe, Hirofumi Tanaka, Quentin de Larochelambert, Julien Schipman, Jean-François Toussaint, et al.. High hopes: lower risk of death due to mental disorders and self-harm in a century-long US Olympian cohort compared with the general population. British Journal of Sports Medicine, BMJ Publishing Group, 2020, bjsports-2020-102624. ⟨10.1136/bjsports-2020-102624⟩. ⟨hal-03261365⟩

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