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Infographic. Useful steps in the prevention of illnesses during international athletics championships
  1. Pascal Edouard1,2,3,4,5,
  2. Danny Glover6,7,
  3. Andrew Murray7,
  4. Toomas Timpka8,
  5. Marine Sorg2,
  6. Frédéric Depiesse3,4,9,10,
  7. Pedro Branco4,10,
  8. Astrid Junge11,12
  1. 1Inter‐university Laboratory of Human Movement Science (LIBM EA 7424), University of Lyon, University Jean Monnet, F-42023, Saint-Etienne, France
  2. 2Department of Clinical and Exercise Physiology, Sports Medicine Unit, University Hospital of Saint-Etienne, Faculty of Medicine, Saint-Etienne, France
  3. 3Medical Commission, French Athletics Federation (FFA), Paris, France
  4. 4European Athletics Medical & Anti Doping Commission, European Athletics Association (EAA), Lausanne, Switzerland
  5. 5Swiss Olympic Medical Center, Centre de médecine du sport, Division de médecine physique et réadaptation, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland
  6. 6Health Education Yorkshire and the Humber, Leeds, UK
  7. 7Knowledge Translation Team, Sport and Exercise, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
  8. 8Athletics Research Center, Linkoping University, Linkoping, Sweden
  9. 9Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University Hospital of Martinique, Le Lamentin, Martinique
  10. 10Health and Science Commission, International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Monaco
  11. 11MSH Medical School Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
  12. 12Swiss Concussion Center and Schulthess Clinic, Zurich, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Pascal Edouard, University Hospital of Saint-Etienne, Saint-Etienne 42 055, France; Pascal.Edouard42{at}

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More data on illnesses during athletics championships are needed

Illnesses can impair sports participation and performance in athletics training or competition (including major championships).1 Travel, jet lag, changes in climatic/environmental conditions and changes in food habits, in addition to the competition per se, could predispose athletes to illness in major championships context.2–4

During international athletics championships, an incidence of illnesses between 20 and 68 per 1000 registered athletes have been reported.2 3 5 6 However, extended and deeper epidemiological analyses are needed to develop effective illness prevention strategies. Therefore, this study aimed to describe the occurrence and characteristics of illnesses at international athletics championships with regards to sex (male and female athletes), disciplines (explosive and endurance) and championships type (indoor and outdoor).

Main findings

In major athletics championships between 2009 and 2017, the …

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  • Contributors PE identified the framework and wrote the text. DG identified the framework and produced the infographics, and PE and AM commented on the drafts. All the authors commented on drafts and contributed to the development of the final manuscript and assets.

  • Funding This research has received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests No, there are no competing interests for any author.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval The injury and illness surveillance project (eg, data collection) was reviewed and approved by the Oslo University School of Medicine Ethical Committee (for athletics championships from 2009 to 2011) and by the Saint-Etienne University Hospital Ethical Committee (for athletics championships from 2012 to 2017), and the analysis of illnesses using all data was reviewed and approved by the Saint-Etienne University Hospital Ethical Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Author note The infographics are based on the following article: Edouard P, Junge A, Sorg M, Timpka T, Branco P. Illnesses during 11 international athletics championships between 2009 and 2017: incidence, characteristics and sex- and discipline-specific differences. Br J Sports Med. 12 March 2019. pii: bjsports-2018-100131. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2018-100131 [Epub ahead of print].