How common are illnesses amongst athletes?

The frequency of acute illness in elite level athletes during international competition has been studied in a variety of settings including the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, Winter Youth Olympic Games, Summer and Winter Paralympic Games, and other international athletic and aquatic sport competitions (Table 1). These data indicate that in major international games lasting 9-18 days, 6-17% of registered athletes are likely to suffer an illness episode. Interestingly, illness appears to be consistently more common in female athletes compared with their male counterparts, which is the opposite of what is found for the general adult population. Furthermore, the incidence of illness appears to

International Olympic Committee consensus statement on load in sport

Athletes train hard, compete a lot and are subject to a lot of psychological stress. This in turn can increase the chances of injury, overtraining and illness. For elite athletes (and everyone else who trains hard and works or manages a family at the same time), it is about managing the total load. The IOC brought together a group of experts to discuss the topic of load in sport and risk of injury, overtraining and illness. This resulted in two scientific publications (part 1 and part 2) that were published online this week in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Both papers can be downloaded from the journal’s web site (1, 2). The International Olympic Committee convened an expert group

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