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.