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Prevalence and awareness of varicocele among athletes in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Authors Hariri A, Abbarh S, Ameen A, Sabra A, Salman A, Alhulaimi Y, Aabed M, Habous M, Madbouly K, Binsaleh S

Received 22 November 2018

Accepted for publication 15 January 2019

Published 13 February 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 21—27


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Jan Colli

Albara Hariri,1 Shahem Abbarh,1 Aref Ameen,1 Ahmad Sabra,1 Ahmad Salman,1 Yaser Alhulaimi,1 Mahmoud Aabed,1 Mohamad Habous,2 Khaled Madbouly,3 Saleh Binsaleh4

1Faculty of Medicine, Al-Maarefa University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 2Department of Urology and Andrology, Elaj Medical Centers, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; 3Department of Urology, Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 4Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Purpose: To evaluate the prevalence and awareness about symptoms, and complications of varicocele among athletes (bodybuilding and aerobics exercises) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Patients and methods: A cross-sectional study of male athletes aged between 18 and 48 years old was carried out in multiple branches of fitness centers over a period of 13 months in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A total of 382 face-to-face interviews using a predesigned questionnaire were conducted to identify the levels of knowledge, attitude, and practice. A randomly selected 48 subjects were examined. Varicocele was diagnosed and graded based on clinical examination and Doppler ultrasonography.
Results: Of the participants, 157 (41%) lacked knowledge and awareness regarding varicocele, its symptoms and complications. Of the examined participants, 22 (46%) were found to have varicocele. No difference in varicocele was found among bodybuilders and aerobic athletes (P=0.249). Similarly, no difference was related to duration of exercise session whether for 1 hour or more (P=0.131). However, our study revealed a higher rate of varicocele among athletes who exercised more than three times per week (P=0.009). Testicular volume was neither significantly different among respondents with and without varicocele nor between the left or right sides within each group.
Conclusion: Knowledge about varicocele, its symptoms and complications is poor among male athletes in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Varicocele is more common in athletic men who are frequently exercising. Efforts to increase knowledge and enhance awareness of varicocele in young males, in general, are strongly warranted.

Keywords: athletes, varicocele, testis, awareness, knowledge

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