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Athlete health promotion programmes depend on accurate and complete sport epidemiology data.1 Many methods are used for health surveillance in elite athletes: research registries, medical records, screening questionnaires for clinical and research use and athlete monitoring systems designed for high performance management teams.2–4 In this clinical commentary, we describe our theory that the true incidence and prevalence of health conditions may be best described by interconnected data systems that aggregate the information from each of these inputs into one live data table. We then introduce a system developed by a National Olympic & Paralympic Committee that is used to help document medical records of individuals for clinical athlete management, while also contributing to knowledge of athlete cohorts for population-based health promotion programmes.
Importance of the issue
The best predictor of future injury is prior injury; however, systems that categorise an athlete’s previous injury, track new conditions and maintain records of risk factors are not readily available for use in the clinical setting.5 Analysis of existing injury surveillance systems provide examples of common flaws with current systems (eg, inconsistent definitions, poor data hygiene, failure to report …
Contributors DN, DT and JTF are responsible for all aspects of this work, including development of the idea, writing the manuscript and approving the final version.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.