Objectives To determine preparticipation predictors of injury and illness at a major Athletics championship.
Methods A cohort study design was used. Before the 2015 International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships in Athletics, all 207 registered national teams were approached about partaking in a study of preparticipation health; 50 teams accepted. The athletes (n=957) in the participating teams were invited to complete a preparticipation health questionnaire (PHQ). New injuries and illnesses that occurred at the championships were prospectively recorded. Logistic regression analyses were performed with simple and multiple models using any in-championship injury and in-championship illness as outcomes.
Results The PHQ was completed by 307 (32.1%) of the invited athletes; 116 athletes (38.3%) reported an injury symptom during the month before the championships, while 40 athletes (13%) reported an illness symptom. 20 (6.5%) of the participating athletes sustained a health problem during the championships. Endurance athletes were almost 10-fold more likely to sustain an in-championship illness than speed/power athletes (OR, 9.88; 95% CI 1.20 to 81.31; p=0.033). Participants reporting a preparticipation gradual-onset injury symptom were three times more likely (OR, 3.09; 95% CI 1.08 to 8.79; p=0.035) and those reporting an illness symptom causing anxiety were fivefold more likely (OR, 5.56; 95% CI 1.34 to 23.15; p=0.018) to sustain an in-championship injury.
Summary and conclusions Analyses of preparticipation predictors of injury and illness at a major Athletics championship suggest that endurance athletes require particular clinical attention. Preparticipation symptoms causing anxiety are interesting predictors for in-championship health problems.
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Contributors TT, J-MA and OR made substantial contributions to the conception of the study. TT, J-MA, JJ, JDP, SR, OR and PE made substantial contributions to the study design. TT, J-MA, JJ, KH, VB and CA were involved in data collection. TT, OD and AS were involved in the analysis of the data. All authors made substantial contributions to data interpretation. TT made a substantial contribution to the drafting and writing of the article. All authors were involved in revising the manuscript and final approval of the version to be published.
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval Research Ethics Board in Linköping.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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