The use of medication and alcohol in recreational downhill skiers: Results of a survey including 816 subjects in Tyrol.


Department of Sport Science, University of Innsbruck, Austria. Electronic address: [Email]


OBJECTIVE : The aim of this study was to collect data on the medication and alcohol use in recreational downhill skiers.
METHODS : Cross-sectional study.
METHODS : The study was conducted during the 2014 winter season in different ski resorts in Tyrol, Austria. Participants were asked to complete a brief survey including questions about basic anthropometric data (age, stature, weight) the use of medication (yes/no) and alcohol intake on the skiing day or the day before (yes/no).
RESULTS : In total, 816 persons with an age between 6-87 years were surveyed. In general, 22% of the male and 20% of the female recreational downhill skiers reported the use of medication. In the age group >40 years, half of the respondents were taking medication on a regular basis. 30% of males and 16% of females reported to consume alcohol on the skiing day whereas more than 50% drank alcohol on the evening before skiing the next day. 63% of those under medication concomitantly consumed alcohol.
CONCLUSIONS : The findings confirm a high prevalence of medication use and alcohol consumption in recreational downhill skiers. Even more importantly, 63% of skiers under medication concomitantly consumed alcohol. Considering the fact that only a small amount of alcohol can already affect motor and cognitive skills, it may be strongly assumed that the risk for skiing injuries is increased with alcohol consumption. Side effects of simultaneous intake of drugs and alcohol may include hypotension, vertigo and collapse which are thought to be associated with increased risks of skiing falls and injuries.


Drug utilisation,Falls,Skiing,Snow sports,