AbstractArterial hypertension in athletes leads to the development of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is a cause of sudden death in young athletes in a third of cases. Professional activities of football referees are associated with significant physical exertion and require their body’s optimal functional state and regular exercise. The objective of the research was to determine the prevalence of arterial hypertension and the degree of hypertension development risk among high skilled football referees. 176 individuals participated in the study including 72 referees and 104 assistant referees at the age of 22 to 44 years. Normal arterial blood pressure was determined in 79.17 % of referees and 71.15 % of assistant referees. Two (1.92 %) assistant referees suffered from hypotension. One referee (1.39 %) had second degree hypertension, 5 (6.94 %) referees and 12 (11.54 %) assistants suffered from first degree hypertension. High-normal arterial blood pressure was determined in 9 (12.50 %) of referees, and 16 (15.39 %) of assistant referees. Heart rate was significantly higher in the assistant referees than in referees. Cases of high arterial blood pressure and overweight were also observed in assistant referees more often. The average value of hypertension development risk level constituted 11.07±1.00 points among the referees and 10.30±0.67 (p<0.05) among the assistant referees. The risk level was significantly higher in the group with elevated blood pressure (16.27±1.15) compared with the group having normal blood pressure (8.43±0.46). Blood pressure measurement is a must method of examination among football referees before the start and during of their professional activities. The findings indicate the necessity for change in the lifestyle of high skilled football referees.
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