Elite male athletes who are engaged in high-contact sports are at a higher risk of developing arthritis of knee and hip joints later in life.
Swedish researchers compared osteoarthritis rates among over 700 retired athletes aged 50 to 93 who had played professional and Olympic level sports with nearly 1,400 men of the same age who exercised a little or not at all.
Their findings which appeared in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, showed that about 30 percent of athletes were suffering from hip or knee arthritis.
The analysis revealed that the risk of hip or knee arthritis was 85 percent higher for elite athletes and even double or more in athletes who had a joint surgery.
The highest risk of arthritis was also seen among athletes engaged in high contact sports. For instance, retired soccer and volleyball prayers had a doubled risk while the odds tripled for ice ex-hockey players.
Researchers suggest people who just want to enjoy benefits of exercise for their health to become engaged in sports such as swimming, cycling, moderate running and yoga rather than sports with high contacts.