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Year-round longitudinal health surveillance in UK Olympic Summer Sport Athletes 2016–2019


Objectives To identify the priority injury and illness types across UK summer Olympic World Class Programme sports to inform development, implementation and evaluation of associated injury risk mitigation and management initiatives.

Methods Four years (2016–2019) of electronic medical records of 1247 athletes from 22 sports were analysed and reported using methods based on the 2020 International Olympic Committee consensus statement for epidemiological recording and reporting.

Results 3562 injuries and 1218 illness were recorded, accounting for 146 156 and 27 442 time-loss days. Overall, 814 (65%) athletes reported at least one injury, while 517 (41%) reported at least one illness. There were 1.3 injuries per athlete year resulting in a mean burden of 54.1 days per athlete year. The lumbar/pelvis, knee, ankle and shoulder body regions had the highest incidence and burden. Athletes reported 0.5 illnesses per athlete year, resulting in a mean burden of 10.4 days per athlete year, with most composed of respiratory illness and gastroenteritis. Injuries within sport groups were representative of the injury risk profile for those sports (eg, knee, hand and head injuries had the highest incidence in combat sports), but respiratory illnesses were consistently the greatest problem for each sport group.

Conclusions To optimise availability for training and performance, systematic risk mitigation and management initiatives should target priority injury problems occurring in the lumbar/pelvis, knee, ankle and shoulder, and respiratory illness. Follow-up analysis should include identification of sport-specific priority health problems and associated risk factors.

  • Health
  • Sport
  • Illness

Data availability statement

No data are available.

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