Title

Epidemiology of exertional heat illnesses in organised sports: A systematic review

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport

ISSN

14402440

Volume

23

Issue

8

First Page

701

Last Page

709

PubMed ID

32144023

Publisher

Elsevier

School

School of Medical and Health Sciences

RAS ID

31931

Funders

Australian Government Research Training Program Federation University Australia

Comments

Gamage, P. J., Fortington, L. V., & Finch, C. F. (2020). Epidemiology of exertional heat illnesses in organised sports: a systematic review. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 23(8), 701-709 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2020.02.008

Abstract

© 2020 Objective: This systematic review summarises reports of the incidence of exertional heat illnesses (EHI) in organised sports, to examine any trends in the EHI incidence over time, and to describe EHI incidence based on sporting activity, geographic location, and type of EHI. Method: Three electronic databases (CINAHL, PubMed, SportDiscuss) were searched from inception to January 2019. Original data in all epidemiological studies (any design except case-studies and case-series) that reported EHI incidence data in organised sports, across all age categories, and published in an English language peer-reviewed journal were included. Results: The primary search yielded 3556 results of which 62 studies were included in the final analysis, with 71% being from the USA. Reported EHI incidence rates ranged from 0.01 (cheerleading) to 4.19 (American football) per 1000 athletic-exposures (AEs), and 0.01 (mini-marathon) to 54.54 (desert ultra-marathon) per 100 participants. Endurance type events (running, cycling, adventure races) reported the highest EHI incidence rates per 100 participants. There was a considerable increase in EHI fatalities reported in the literature over the last three decades in American football and an increased reporting of EHI incidence in endurance type events during the last 5-years. Conclusion: Use of different terminology and injury definitions in most studies have resulted in an inconsistency in reporting EHI incidence data, and also likely underreporting of less-severe forms of EHI conditions. Longitudinal studies focused on different sports and conducted in more countries (outside the USA), are needed for better understanding the global impact of EHI and the impact of prevention measures.

DOI

10.1016/j.jsams.2020.02.008

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