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The following electronic only articles are published in conjunction with this issue of BJSM.

The reliability of team-based primary data collectors for the collection of exposure and protective equipment use data in community sport

R A Braham, C F Finch

Objective: Reliable data allows for the generalisation of study findings to the wider population. The aim of this study was to assess the reliability of using community team based primary data collectors for the collection of exposure and protective equipment use data.

Methods: Nine clubs (23 teams) from a metropolitan Australian Football league in Victoria each provided one primary data collector to monitor exposure and protective equipment use over a regular playing season. Four random audits of this data collection for each team were conducted throughout the regular playing season. The audits were compared with data collected by the club data collectors and the level of agreement assessed.

Results: Although exposure data agreement was higher during competition and protective equipment use agreement higher during training, there was no significant difference in data collected by the primary data collectors and the random audits.

Conclusions: The use of trained data collectors associated with Australian Football teams provides reliable information about player exposure and protective equipment use in community intervention studies.

(Br J Sports Med 2004;38:e15)

The dipsomania of great distance: water intoxication in an ironman triathlete

T D Noakes, K Sharwood, M Collins, et al

Of 371 athletes (62% of all finishers) whose weights were measured before and after the 226 km South African Ironman Triathlon, the athlete who gained the most weight (3.6 kg) during the race was the only competitor to develop symptomatic hyponatraemia. During recovery, he excreted an excess of 4.6 litres of urine. This case report again confirms that symptomatic hyponatraemia is caused by considerable fluid overload independent of appreciable NaCl losses. Hence prevention of the condition requires that athletes be warned not to drink excessively large volumes of fluid (dipsomania) during very prolonged exercise. This case report also shows that there is a delayed diuresis in this condition and that it is not caused by renal failure.

(Br J Sports Med 2004;38:e16)

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