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Strategies and factors associated with preparing for competing in the heat: a cohort study at the 2015 IAAF World Athletics Championships
Aspetar Orthopaed and Sports Medical Hospital, Qatar.
Aspetar Orthopaed and Sports Medical Hospital, Qatar.
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Community Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Center for Health and Developmental Care, Center for Public Health. (Athletics Research Center, Linköping University)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6049-5402
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Disability Research. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research. (Athletics Research Center, Linköping University)
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2017 (English)In: British Journal of Sports Medicine, ISSN 0306-3674, E-ISSN 1473-0480, Vol. 51, no 4, 264-271 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose Assess exertional heat illness (EHI) history and preparedness in athletes competing in a World Athletics Championships under hot/humid conditions and identify the factors associated with preparedness strategies. Methods Of the 207 registered national teams invited to participate in the study, 50 (24%) accepted. The 957 athletes (49% of all 1965 registered) in these teams were invited to complete a precompetition questionnaire evaluating EHI history, heat stress prevention (heat acclimatisation, precooling and hydration) and recovery. Responses from 307 (32%) athletes were separated in field events, sprints, middle-distance and long-distance running, and decathlon/heptathlon for analysis. Results 48% of athletes had previously experienced EHI symptoms and 8.5% had been diagnosed with EHI. 15% heat acclimatised (similar to 20 days) before the championships. 52% had a precooling strategy, ice slurry ingestion (24%) being the most prevalent and women using it more frequently than men (p=0.005). 96% of athletes had a fluid consumption strategy, which differed between event categories (pamp;lt;0.001). The most common volumes planned on being consumed were 0.5-1 L (27.2%) and amp;gt;= 2 L (21.8%), water being the most frequent. 89% of athletes planned on using at least one recovery strategy. Female sex (p=0.024) and a previous EHI diagnosis increased the likelihood of using all 3 prevention strategies (pamp;lt;0.001). Conclusions At a World Championships with expected hot/humid conditions, less than one-fifth of athletes heat acclimatised, half had a precooling strategy and almost all a hydration plan. Women, and especially athletes with an EHI history, were more predisposed to use a complete heat stress prevention strategy. More information regarding heat acclimatisation should be provided to protect athlete health and optimise performance at major athletics competitions in the heat.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP , 2017. Vol. 51, no 4, 264-271 p.
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Sport and Fitness Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-136320DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2016-096579ISI: 000394540300009PubMedID: 27815238OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-136320DiVA: diva2:1087938
Note

Funding Agencies|IAAF Medical and Anti-Doping Commission and Department

Available from: 2017-04-10 Created: 2017-04-10 Last updated: 2017-05-01

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Timpka, ToomasDahlström, ÖrjanSpreco, ArminJacobsson, Jenny
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Division of Community MedicineFaculty of Medicine and Health SciencesCenter for Public HealthDisability ResearchFaculty of Arts and SciencesThe Swedish Institute for Disability ResearchLinköping UniversityRegion Östergötland
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