J4.4 Prevalence of Heat Related Fatalities in Physical Activities

Tuesday, 12 January 2016: 11:45 AM
Room 228/229 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Yuri Hosokawa, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT; and A. J. Grundstein, R. L. Stearns, and D. J. Casa

Unlike professional, collegiate, or high school sanctioned organized sport, many mass-scaled sports event, such as marathons and road races of various distance, lack organizational policies that protect the participants from heat related illnesses. The heat and activity modification guideline set forth by the American College of Sports Medicine is often utilized by sport governing bodies, however, the majority of sport events that exercise enthusiasts and the general population participate in fail to utilize such guidelines to modify the event. With an assumption that the lay population is less acclimatized and physically fit to participate in strenuous exercise in the heat, heat guidelines may be even more necessary in this cohort. Our study aims to investigate the occurrence of exertional heat stroke (EHS) fatalities between 01/01/2005 through 12/31/2014 that were reported in the media using the news archive database (LexisNexis) with predetermined search terms (e.g., fatal, exercising, road race, running). Only the data with date, type, and location of activity and approximate time of activity was included in the analysis. These data were then compared with meteorological data obtained from national weather service observing stations to examine the relationship between the EHS fatality occurrence and the environmental condition. Other factors that may have affected the victim to sustain EHS (e.g., illness, physical fitness, level of competition) was also analyzed when the information was provided in the articles.
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