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Br J Sports Med. 2012 Jun;46(7):505-14. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2012-091008. Epub 2012 Apr 20.

Determination of future prevention strategies in elite track and field: analysis of Daegu 2011 IAAF Championships injuries and illnesses surveillance.

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  • 1RFEA Servicios M├ędicos, Avenida de Valladolid, 81, 28008-Madrid, Spain. dir.medico@rfea.es

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the incidence and characteristics of newly incurred injuries and illnesses during international Athletics Championships, by improving the medical surveillance coverage, in order to determine future prevention strategies.

DESIGN:

Prospective recording of newly occurred injuries and illnesses.

SETTING:

13th International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships in Athletics 2011 in Daegu, Korea.

PARTICIPANTS:

National team and Local Organising Committee physicians; and 1851 registered athletes.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Incidence and characteristics of newly incurred injuries and illnesses.

RESULTS:

82% of athletes were covered by medical teams participating with a response rate of 94%. A total of 249 injuries were reported, representing an incidence of 134.5 injuries per 1000 registered athletes, and 119 (48%) resulted in time loss from sport. A total of 185 injuries affected the lower limb (74%). Hamstring strain was the main diagnosis and 67% resulted in absence from sport. Overuse (n=148; 59%) was the predominant cause. A total of 126 illnesses were reported, signifying an incidence of 68.1 per 1000 registered athletes. Upper respiratory tract infection was the most common reported diagnosis (18%), followed by exercise-induced dehydration (12%), and gastroenteritis/diarrhoea (10%). The highest incidences of injuries were found in combined events and middle and long-distance events, and of illness in race walking events.

CONCLUSION:

During elite Athletics World Championships, 135 injuries, 60 time-loss injuries and 68 illnesses per 1000 registered athletes were reported. Higher risks of injuries were found in combined events and long-distance runs. Preventive interventions should focus on overuse injuries and hamstring strains, decreasing the risk of transmission of infectious diseases, appropriate event scheduling and heat acclimatisation.

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