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Medical encounters (including injury and illness) at mass community-based endurance sports events: an international consensus statement on definitions and methods of data recording and reporting


Mass participation endurance sports events are popular but a large number of participants are older and may be at risk of medical complications during events. Medical encounters (defined fully in the statement) include those traditionally considered ‘musculoskeletal’ (eg, strains) and those due to ‘illness’ (eg, cardiac, respiratory, endocrine). The rate of sudden death during mass endurance events (running, cycling and triathlon) is between 0.4 and 3.3 per 100 000 entrants. The rate of other serious medical encounters (eg, exertional heat stroke, hyponatraemia) is rarely reported; in runners it can be up to 100 times higher than that of sudden death, that is, between 16 and 155 per 100 000 race entrants. This consensus statement has two goals. It (1) defines terms for injury and illness-related medical encounters, severity and timing of medical encounters, and diagnostic categories of medical encounters, and (2) describes the methods for recording data at mass participation endurance sports events and reporting results to authorities and for publication. This unifying consensus statement will allow data from various events to be compared and aggregated. This will inform athlete/patient management, and thus make endurance events safer.

  • sport
  • endurance
  • medical encounters
  • epidemiology
  • methodology
  • running
  • cycling
  • swimming
  • triathlon
  • illness
  • injury

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