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Canadian exercise physiologist, Dr. Trent Stellingwerff, is leading a study of a condition called Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) in international as well as Canadian high-performance athletes.

All athletes (male and female, recreational to elite, able-bodied, or para-athletes), over the age of 15 are invited to participate in this survey.

What is RED-S?

This is an often unrecognized disorder that results in low energy availability due to inadequate caloric intake with or without the presence of a recognized eating disorder, or amenorrhea, and signs of osteoporosis.

RED-S may be a result of intentional or unintentional under-consumption of healthful foods; required calories for health, wellness, and recovery from athletic pursuits.

In women, estrogen levels may drop and menstruation may cease. Normal estrogen levels are needed to maintain calcium content in bones. Underperforming, general fatigue and injury are some of the results that occur from experiencing RED-S.

From the survey website page:

The rate of RED-S risk factors ranges from 3 to 60% in the published literature (depending on the sport, type, and level of athlete and diagnostic tool). Therefore, RED-S concerns high performance junior and senior athletes, where effects are seen beyond the degree of success at major championships, including the cost of health care and long-term consequences for athletes diagnosed with RED-S.

Therefore, part of our approach is to hopefully implement the largest global RED-S questionnaire (to date), to gather as much information as possible – your input and is imperative to this pursuit.  This questionnaire is a combination of various existing questionnaire (many validated), combined with several other novel questions, which will take ~30-40min of your time.  From this extensive questionnaire we hope to better inform: 

·  Our understanding of the prevalence and symptoms of RED-S in elite junior and senior athletes, para-athletes and recreational level athletes;
·  Utilize data to further develop screening tools and potential treatment protocols to manage RED-S;
·  Improve athlete health, availability and performance.

Your answers will be handled with confidentiality and you can answer the entire survey anonymously. However, once you have completed the survey, you will have the opportunity to provide your email address to directly access study results once they become available.

Research team

Principal Investigator:  
Trent Stellingwerff, Ph.D., FACSM
Director of Performance Solutions, Innovation & Research 
Canadian Sport Institute Pacific (CSI Pacific) / University of Victoria (UVIC) / University of British Columbia

Co-Investigator:  
Ida Heikura, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral research fellow
UVIC / CSI Pacific

Collaborators:

Margo Mountjoy, MD PhD, CCFP (sem) FCFP FACSM Dip Sport Med, IOC Medical Commission-Games group, FINA Sports Medicine, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada

Paddy McCluskey, MD, Chief Medical Officer, CSI Pacific, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Kathryn Ackerman, MD, MPH, FACSM, Medical Director, Female Athlete Program, Division of Sports Medicine Boston Children’s Hospital;  Associate Director, Sports Endocrine Research Lab, Neuroendocrine Unit Massachusetts General Hospital;  Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School; Team Physician, USA Rowing, USA

Louise Burke, OAM PhD APD, Chair of Sports Nutrition, Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Exercise and Nutrition Research Program, Australian Catholic University, Mel.

To contact the team email at: redsstudy@csipacific.ca

See the invitation to the study, here>>

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