Epidemiology of Exercise-Related Transient Abdominal Pain at the City to Surf Community Run

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Morton, D., Richards, D. & Callister, R. (2005). Epidemiology of exercise-related transient abdominal pain at the City to Surf community run. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 8(2), 152-162. doi:10.1016/S1440-2440(05)80006-4

ISSN: 1440-2440


A questionnaire was administered to 848 participants (76% runners, 24% walkers) at the conclusion of the 14 km City to Surf community run in order to investigate their experience of exercise-related transient abdominal pain (ETAP). Twenty-seven percent of respondents reported experiencing ETAP during the event, with the condition reported more frequently (p< 0.01) by runners (30%) than walkers (16%). ETAP was mostly described as well-localised (88%) and of an aching (25%), sharp (22%) or cramping (22%) sensation. The most commonly-reported sites of the pain were the right (46%) and left lumbar (23%) regions of the abdomen. Forty-two percent of the respondents who experienced ETAP reported that the pain was detrimental to their performance. Reports of ETAP decreased with age (r= -0.23, p< 0.01) but were unrelated to gender, body mass index or the time taken to complete the event. Among respondents who ran, those who consumed a large mass of food relative to body weight in the time interval 1-2 hr before the event were more likely to develop symptoms of ETAP (p < 0.05). The nutritional content of the pre-event meal did not influence the experience of ETAP. Sufferers of ETAP were more likely to experience nausea (r = 0.12, p< 0.01) and report shoulder tip pain (r= 0.14, p< 0.01). The results indicate that ETAP is a commonly experienced problem and provide insights into the cause of the complaint.[from publisher's website].


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