Sport, sex and age increase risk of illness at the Rio 2016 Summer Paralympic Games: a prospective cohort study of 51 198 athlete days

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OBJECTIVE: To describe the epidemiology of illness at the Rio 2016 Summer Paralympic Games.

METHODS: A total of 3657 athletes from 78 countries, representing 83.5% of all athletes at the Games, were monitored on the web-based injury and illness surveillance system (WEB-IISS) over 51 198 athlete days during the Rio 2016 Summer Paralympic Games. Illness data were obtained daily from teams with their own medical support through the WEB-IISS electronic data capturing systems.

RESULTS: The total number of illnesses was 511, with an illness incidence rate (IR) of 10.0 per 1000 athlete days (12.4%). The highest IRs were reported for wheelchair fencing (14.9), para swimming (12.6) and wheelchair basketball (12.5) (p<0.05). Female athletes and older athletes (35-75 years) were also at higher risk of illness (both p<0.01). Illnesses in the respiratory, skin and subcutaneous and digestive systems were the most common (IRs of 3.3, 1.8 and 1.3, respectively).

CONCLUSION: (1) The rate of illness was lower than that reported for the London 2012 Summer Paralympic Games; (2) the sports with the highest risk were wheelchair fencing, para swimming and wheelchair basketball; (3) female and older athletes (35-75 years) were at increased risk of illness; and (4) the respiratory system, skin and subcutaneous system and digestive system were most affected by illness. These results allow for comparison at future Games.


  • Wayne Derman
  • Martin P. Schwellnus
  • Esme Jordaan
  • Phoebe Runciman
  • Cheri Blauwet
  • Nick Webborn
  • Jan Lexell
  • Peter Van de Vliet
  • Yetsa Tuakli-Wosornu
  • James Kissick
  • Jaap Stomphorst
Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • University of Pretoria
  • University of the Western Cape
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital / Harvard Medical School
  • University of Brighton
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Luleå University of Technology
  • International Paralympic Committee
  • Yale University
  • Carleton University
  • Stellenbosch University
  • Isala Klinieken

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Idrottsvetenskap


Sidor (från-till)17-23
Antal sidor7
TidskriftBritish journal of sports medicine
StatusPublished - 2018 jan 1
Peer review utfördJa