Establishing the incidence and prevalence of injury and illness in Australian sailing athletes over a full year of training and competition to help determine prevention priorities

Journal article


Crunkhorn, Melissa L., Wolff, Ashley, Drew, Michael, Witchalls, Jeremy, Lalor, Benita and Toohey, Liam A.. (2022). Establishing the incidence and prevalence of injury and illness in Australian sailing athletes over a full year of training and competition to help determine prevention priorities. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 25(9), pp. 726-731. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2022.06.012
AuthorsCrunkhorn, Melissa L., Wolff, Ashley, Drew, Michael, Witchalls, Jeremy, Lalor, Benita and Toohey, Liam A.
Abstract

Objectives
To investigate the prevalence, incidence rate (IR) and burden of health problems (injuries and illnesses) in Australian Olympic class and State Sailing Pathway Program (SSPP) athletes over 12-months of training and competition.

Design
Descriptive epidemiological study.

Methods
Ninety-two Australian Sailing and SSPP athletes were prospectively followed during the 2019–2020 season. Medical attention injuries and illnesses were prospectively recorded, and further sub-categorised according to time loss. The IR and burden were calculated per 365 athlete-days, with differences in IR between sexes compared using negative binomial generated rate ratios.

Results
Three hundred and forty-nine injuries were reported in 53 athletes (57.6 %), with 14.3 % resulting in time loss. Injury IR was 3.71 (95%CI = 3.33–4.12) injuries per 365 athlete–days, with no difference observed between sex (IRR = 1.64; 95%CI = 0.81–3.34). Shoulder injuries were found to have the greatest burden. Fifty-four illnesses were reported in 27 athletes (29.3 %), with 39.0 % resulting in time loss. Respiratory infection (n = 22, 40.7 %) was the most common illness reported. Illness IR was 0.57 (95%CI = 0.43–0.75) illnesses per 365 athlete days, with females found to have a 3.6 fold increase in illness compared to males (IRR = 3.6; 95%CI = 2.0–6.7).

Conclusions
The majority of health problems reported in sailing athletes did not result in time loss. There were no differences in the injury IR between sexes, however females had a 3.6-fold increase in reported illness. These results can inform future strategies to reduce key health problems in sailors. Future research investigating whether performance is impacted by the high rate of non-time loss health problems is warranted.

Keywordsathletic injuries; sports; epidemiology; athletes; illness; sailing
Year2022
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Journal citation25 (9), pp. 726-731
PublisherElsevier Ltd
ISSN1440-2440
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2022.06.012
PubMed ID35868988
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85134840953
Page range726-731
FunderAustralian Institute of Sport (AIS)
University of Canberra
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online02 Jul 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted30 Jun 2022
Deposited19 Jul 2023
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