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Female boxing in Italy: 2002–2007 report
  1. Bianco Massimiliano1,2,
  2. Sanna Nicola1,
  3. Bucari Sante2,
  4. Fabiano Carmela1,
  5. V Palmieri1,
  6. Zeppilli Paolo1
  1. 1Sports Medicine Department, Catholic University, Rome, Italy
  2. 2Medical Section, Italian Boxing Federation, Rome, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Bianco Massimiliano, Sports Medicine Department, Internal Medicine and Geriatrics Institute, Catholic University, Largo Agostino Gemelli, 8, Rome 00168, Italy; massimiliano.bianco{at}


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 (1) Retrospective study: All pre-/postmatch medical reports were analysed. (2) Prospective study: Breast, gynaecologic, brain, eyes, ear, nose and throat examinations were carried out.

Main outcome measurements (1) Retrospective study: Any injury assessed before/after the match. (2) Prospective study: Health problems which could be related to boxing activity.

Results (1) Retrospective study: Data from 5600 examinations were collected. Precompetition, a medical problem was recorded in three athletes (one conjunctiva hyperemia, one zygomatic bruise, one eyelid haematoma). 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 hospitalisation (for a thorough evaluation). Another athlete was hospitalised for a nasal fracture. (2) Prospective study: Two fibroadenomas, three ovarian cysts and one intramural uterine myoma were diagnosed. In four boxers, non-specific electroencephalographic abnormalities were detected, however, with a normal brain MRI in three (the fourth is still waiting for the radiologic procedure). Nasal septum deviation was common (42.6%) and a transmissive hypoacusia was observed in two athletes. No major eye injuries were reported.

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

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Italian Boxing Federation.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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