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Female boxing in Italy: 2002-2007 report
  1. Massimiliano Bianco (massimiliano.bianco{at}
  1. Sports Medicine Department, Catholic University, Italy
    1. Nicola Sanna
    1. Sports Medicine Department, Catholic University, Italy
      1. Sante Bucari
      1. Italian Boxing Federation, Italy
        1. Carmela Fabiano
        1. Sports Medicine Department, Catholic University, Italy
          1. Vincenzo Palmieri
          1. Sports Medicine Department, Catholic University, Italy
            1. Paolo Zeppilli
            1. Sports Medicine Department, Catholic University, Italy


              Objective: to collect medical data on women’s boxing.

              Design: Cross-sectional and longitudinal study.

              Setting: Medical examinations requested by Italian laws.

              Participants: A retrospective study was conducted on all female boxing competitions in Italy from April 2001 to December 2007. Sixty-one amateur female boxers were evaluated longitudinally.

              Interventions: Retrospective study: all pre-/post-match medical reports were analyzed. Prospective study: Breast, gynaecologic, brain, eyes, ear, nose and throat examinations were carried out.

              Main outcome measurements: Retrospective study: any injury assessed before/after the match. Prospective study: health problems which could be related to boxing activity.

              Results: Retrospective study: data from 5600 examinations were collected. Pre-competition, a medical problem was recorded in 3 athletes (1 conjunctiva hyperemia, 1 zygomatic bruise, 1 eyelid hematoma). Post-competition, 51/2800 medical checks showed mild common injuries, such as, soft tissue facial lesions, epistaxis, and hand-wrist problems. Only one concussion was recorded with hospitalization (for a thorough evaluation). Another athlete was hospitalized for a nasal fracture. Prospective study: 2 fibroadenomas, 3 ovarian cysts, and 1 intramural uterine myoma were diagnosed. In 4 boxers non-specific electroencephalographic abnormalities were detected however with a normal brain MRI in 3 (the 4th is still waiting for the radiologic procedure). Nasal septum deviation was common (42.6%) and a transmissive hypoacusia was observed in 2 athletes. No major eye injuries were reported.

              Conclusions: Female boxing seems to be a safe sport with a very low incidence of events requiring hospitalization. No specific diseases in female boxers could be observed, in particular regarding the breast and reproductive system.

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