Prevalence of superficial fungal infections among sports-active individuals: results from the Achilles survey, a review of the literature

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2001 Jul;15(4):312-6.


Objective: To examine the effect of sport activities on the prevalence of foot disease in the Achilles survey, conducted during the spring of 1997 and 1998 in several European countries.

Subject: Foot diseases, especially fungal infections (tinea pedis and onychomycosis).

Methods: A questionnaire and a clinical examination regarding individuals presenting to a general practitioner for disorders irrespective of possible foot problems.

Results: More than 50% of subjects visiting a general practitioner had clinical evidence of foot disease, and approximately two-thirds of these had clinical evidence of a superficial fungal infection. The survey evidenced a significant age-dependent association between sporting activities and the prevalence of foot diseases and superficial fungal infection, especially in children.

Conclusions: The results of this pan-European survey indicate that sporting activities can have an unfavourable effect on the individual regarding the occurrence of foot disease and superficial fungal infection. The results indicate a need to pay more attention to foot disease, to predict and prevent future diseases and further complications.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Foot Dermatoses / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Onychomycosis / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Sports Medicine
  • Tinea Pedis / epidemiology*