Objective To describe the incidence rate (IR) and illness burden (IB) at the Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
Methods A total of 567 athletes from 49 countries were monitored for 12 days over the Pyeongchang 2018 Games (6804 athlete days). Illness data were obtained daily from teams with (41 teams, 557 athletes) and teams without (8 teams, 10 athletes) their own medical support, through electronic data capturing systems.
Results There were 87 illnesses reported, with an illness IR of 12.8 illnesses per 1000 athlete days (95% CI 10.2 to 16.0) and IB of 6.8 days lost per 1000 athlete days (95% CI 3.4 to 13.5). The highest IR was reported for Para snowboard (IR of 19.7 [95% CI 12.0 to 32.2]). Illnesses in the respiratory system (IR of 4.1 [95% CI 2.9 to 5.9]; IB of 1.4 [95% CI 0.6 to 3.0]), skin and subcutaneous system (IR of 2.5 [95% CI 1.5 to 4.1]; IB of 0.6 [95% CI 0.1 to 2.9]), and eye and ocular adnexa (IR of 1.6 [95% CI 0.9 to 3.1]; IB of 0.5 [95% CI 0.1 to 3.3]) were the most common.
Conclusion This is the first study to report both the IR and IB in this setting. There was a high IR of illness in the new sport of Para snowboard. The respiratory system had both the highest IR and IB.
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Twitter The burden of #athlete #illness at the #PyeongChang2018 @Paralympics
Contributors All authors have contributed to the development, application and write-up of the current study.
Funding Funding for this study was provided by the IOC Research Centre South Africa grant and International Paralympic Committee research support.
Competing interests All authors have declared competing interests.
Patient consent Not required.
Ethics approval Research ethical approval was granted by the University of Brighton (FREGS/ES/12/11) and Stellenbosch University (N16/05/067) research ethics committees before research activities were conducted. During the registration process, consent was obtained from all athletes for the use of de-identified medical data gathered during the Games.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.