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Concept: 2004 Summer Olympics

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The Olympic Games' (OG) organisers typically hope that a diverse range of health legacies, including increases in physical activity and sport participation will result from their hosting of the OG. Despite these aspirations, the effects of the Olympics on physical activity levels remain to be demonstrated in large-scale population studies.

Concepts: United States, Olympic Games, Australia, Winter Olympic Games, Summer Olympic Games, Ancient Olympic Games, 2008 Summer Olympics, 2004 Summer Olympics

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Olympic athletes represent model of success in our society, by enduring strenuous conditioning programmes and achieving astonishing performances. They also raise scientific and clinical interest, with regard to medical care and prevalence of cardiovascular (CV) abnormalities.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Disease, Olympic Games, Summer Olympic Games, Athens, 2014 Winter Olympics, 2004 Summer Olympics

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It is not known whether exposure to air pollutants causes systemic oxidative stress in children. We investigated the association between exposure to air pollution and biomarkers of oxidative stress in relation to a governmental air quality intervention implemented during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. We studied 36 schoolchildren during 5 time periods before and during the Olympic Games in Beijing (June 2007-September 2008). The oxidative stress biomarkers 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) and malondialdehyde were measured in urine samples collected daily during each period. Generalized estimating equations were used to examine the relationship between repeated biomarker measurements and ambient air pollutant levels. During the Olympic intervention period, substantial reductions in air pollution (-19% to -72%), urinary 8-oxodG concentrations (-37.4%; 95% confidence interval: -53.5, -15.7), and urinary malondialdehyde concentrations (-25.3%; 95% confidence interval: -34.3, -15.1) were found. Malondialdehyde and 8-oxodG were significantly associated with concentrations of black carbon, fine particulate matter with an aerodynamic with diameter less than 2.5 μm, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide. Biomarker changes per each interquartile-range increase in pollutants were largest at lag 0 or lag 1. In a 2-pollutant model, the most robust associations were for black carbon. These findings suggest that exposure to black carbon leads to systemic oxidative stress in children.

Concepts: Olympic Games, Particulate, Smog, Air pollution, Summer Olympic Games, 2008 Summer Olympics, International Olympic Committee, 2004 Summer Olympics

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This study aims to investigate how antioxidant enzyme activity and overall antioxidant capacity respond to short-term changes in exposure to air pollution. 201 participants were recruited before- and followed up during- and after- the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Serum levels of antioxidant enzymes including glutathione S-transferases (GST), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione reductase (GR), and total antioxidant status (TAS) were measured. We used linear mixed-effects models to compare changes in antioxidant enzymes across the three periods after adjusting for potential confounding factors. Among all participants, glutathione peroxidase (GPx) levels decreased by 12.0% when air pollution dropped by 50-60% during the Olympics and increased by 6.5% when air pollution levels rose after the Olympics. The magnitude of increase among males, smokers, and older individuals was relatively smaller compared to females, nonsmokers, and younger individuals. Among all participants, total antioxidant status (TAS) significantly decreased by 6.23% during the games and continued to decrease by 4.41% after the games. However, among females, nonsmokers, and younger participants, there was an increase in TAS response to the elevated air pollution levels. Our study observed strong responses in GPx and TAS levels to the short-term decrease and increase of air pollution levels and responses varied among subgroups.

Concepts: Antioxidant, Olympic Games, Summer Olympic Games, 2008 Summer Olympics, 2012 Summer Olympics, International Olympic Committee, 2004 Summer Olympics, Michael Phelps

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This study’s aim was to investigate the post-effect of an air quality improvement on systemic inflammation and circulating microparticles in asthmatic patients during, and 2 months after, the Beijing Olympics 2008. We measured the levels of circulating inflammatory cytokines and microparticles in the peripheral blood from asthma patients and healthy controls during (phase 1), and 2 months after (phase 2) the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. The concentrations of circulating cytokines (including TNFα, IL-6, IL-8, and IL-10) were still seen reduced in phase 2 when compared with those in phase 1. The number of circulating endothelial cell-derived microparticles was significantly lower during the phase 2 than that during phase 1 in asthma patients. The level of plasma lipopolysaccharide-binding protein (LBP) was significantly decreased in asthmatics in phase 2. The level of norepinephrine was significantly higher in phase 2 than that in phase 1 in plasma from both asthma patients and healthy subjects. There were no significant differences in the gene profile for the toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling from peripheral blood mononuclear cells. In vitro, microvesicles from patients with asthma impaired the relaxation to bradykinin and contraction to acetylcholine, whereas microparticles from healthy subjects did not. These data suggested that reduction in systemic pro-inflammatory responses and circulating LBP and increased level of norepinephrine in asthma patients persisted even after 2 months of the air pollution intervention. These changes were independent of the TLR signaling pathway. Circulating microparticles might be associated with airway smooth muscle dysfunction.

Concepts: Olympic Games, Beijing, Summer Olympic Games, 2008 Summer Olympics, International Olympic Committee, 2004 Summer Olympics, Beijing National Stadium, Michael Phelps

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National sporting achievement at the Olympic Games is important for national pride and prestige, and to promote participation in sport. Summer Olympic Games medal tallies have been associated with national wealth, and also social development and healthcare expenditure. It is uncertain however, how these socioeconomic factors translate into Olympic success. The objective of this study was therefore to examine the relationship between population muscle strength and Olympic medal tallies.

Concepts: Olympic Games, Winter Olympic Games, Summer Olympic Games, 2008 Summer Olympics, 2012 Summer Olympics, International Olympic Committee, Athens, 2004 Summer Olympics

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Five years measurements were used to evaluate the effect of emission controls on the changes of air pollutants in Beijing and its surroundings in the NCP during 2008 Olympic Games (2008OG). The major challenge of this study was to filter out the effect of variability of meteorological conditions, when compared the air pollutants during the game to non-game period. We used four-year (2007, 2009-2011) average as the Non-2008OG to smooth the temporal variability caused by meteorological parameters. To study the spatial variability and regional transport, 6 sites (urban, rural, a mega city, a heavy industrial city, and a remote site) were selected. The result showed that the annually meteorological variability was significantly reduced. Such as, in BJ the differences between 2008OG and 5-years averaged values were 2.7% for relative humidity and 0.6% for wind speed. As a result, the anomaly of air pollutants between 2008OG and Non-2008OG can largely attribute to the emission control. The comparison showed that the major pollutants (PM10, PM2.5, NO, NOx) at the 6 sites in 2008OG were consistently lowered. For example, PM2.5 in BJ decreased from 75 to 45 μg/m(3) (40% reduction). However, the emission controls had minor effect on O3 concentrations (1% reduction). In contrast, the O3 precursor (NOx) reduced from 19.7 to 13.2 ppb (33% reduction). The in-sensitivity between NOx and O3 suggested that the O3 formation was under VOCs control condition in NCP, showing that strong VOC emission control is needed in order to significantly reduce O3 concentration in the region.

Concepts: Olympic Games, People's Republic of China, Smog, Beijing, Summer Olympic Games, 2008 Summer Olympics, International Olympic Committee, 2004 Summer Olympics

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Taking advantage of the natural experiment of the 2008 Beijing Olympics (8/8 to 9/24), when air pollution levels decreased by 13%-60%, we assessed whether having ≥ 1 pregnancy month during the Olympics was associated with decreased risks of hypertensive disorders (HD) and/or fetal-placental conditions (FPC). We included singleton births to mothers with ≥ 1 pregnancy month in 2008 or 2009 (n=56,155). Using generalized additive models, we estimated the risk of HD and FPC associated with 1) the 2008 Olympics compared with the same dates in 2009, and 2) increased mean ambient PM10, NO2 and SO2 concentrations during each trimester. However, we found no association between HD or FPC and having any trimester during the 2008 Olympic period. This may, in part, be due to a small number of pregnancy complications in this population.

Concepts: Olympic Games, Beijing, Summer Olympic Games, 2008 Summer Olympics, International Olympic Committee, 2004 Summer Olympics, Beijing National Stadium, Michael Phelps