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261 Injuries in long distance racecar drivers: a longitudinal study of pre-participation examinations
  1. Josefine Stoll,
  2. Lucie Risch,
  3. Michael Cassel,
  4. Frank Mayer
  1. University of Potsdam, Outpatient Clinic, Potsdam, Germany


Background Professional long distance racecar drivers are exposed to high physical load during races. Athletes have to interact with other racecar drivers during high-speed situations on the track. Additionally G-forces have to be counteracted and pedal power maintained without any loss of performance. Data regarding common injuries or overuse are rare and not longitudinal analyzed.

Objective This study is based on prospective longitudinal analyses of common injuries and overuse in professional long distance racecar drivers during pre- participation examinations (PPE).

Design Prospective longitudinal study

Setting University outpatient clinic, Medical examination center of the German Olympic Sports Federation

Patients (or Participants) 37 male professional long distance racecar drivers were analyzed over 15 years (2003–2017).

Interventions (or Assessment of Risk Factors) Athletes participated in a PPE screening two times a year. Frequent diagnoses were evaluated during medical examination focussing on orthopaedics, internal medicine and cardiology. Overall 353 PPEs were included in the analysis of prevalence. Individual follow up of athletes ranged from one to maximum fifteen years.

Main Outcome Measurements The number of findings in medical history and clinical examination was differentiated between orthopaedic, internal medicine and cardiological findings (frequencies [%]).

Results Long distance racecar drivers presented a low prevalence of injuries. 40% of cases were found in the musculoskeletal system, 20% in internal medicine. Frequent complaints were tendinopathies of the lower limb as well as chronic unspecific low back pain. Repetitive infections of the upper respiratory tract and allergies were frequent as well. Cardiological findings were rare.

Conclusions There is a need of regular health monitoring in long distance racecar driving. Prevention of frequent complaints should be based on regular PPE focussing on the musculoskeletal system as well as internal medical and cardiovascular screening.

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