Individual risk factors associated with exertional heat illness: a systematic review

Westwood, Caroline S., Fallowfield, Joanne L., Delves, Simon K., Nunns, Michael, Ogden, Henry B. and Layden, Joseph D. (2020) Individual risk factors associated with exertional heat illness: a systematic review. Experimental Physiology. ISSN 09580670

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Background Despite the widespread knowledge of exertional heat illness (EHI) and clear guidance for its prevention, the incidence of EHI remains high. Objectives To systematically review available literature evaluating the scientific evidence underpinning the risk factors associated with EHI. Methods Medline, PsycINFO, SportDiscus and Embase were searched from inception to January 2019 with no date limitation with supplementary searches also performed. Search terms included permutations of risk and heat illness with only studies in English included. Study selection, data extraction and quality assessment, using the QUALSYST tool, were performed by two independent reviewers. Results Of 8898 articles identified by the searches, 43 were included in the systematic review as primary evidence demonstrating a link between a risk factor and EHI. The quality scores ranged from 57.50‐100% and were generally considered to be of strong quality. The majority of risk attributable to EHI were categorised as those associated with lifestyle factors. Discussion The findings from the systematic review suggest complex manifestation of EHI through multiple risk factors rather than any one in isolation. Further research is needed to explore the accumulation of risk factors to help develop effective preventative measures.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Exertional heat illness, Heat illness, Heat stroke, Risk
Depositing User: Ms Raisa Burton
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2020 08:36
Last Modified: 14 Apr 2020 08:36

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