Drug Discov Ther. 2024;18(1):60-66. (DOI: 10.5582/ddt.2023.01094)

Association between the experience of exertional heat illness (EHI) and living conditions of collegiate student athletes

Iio Y, Tanaka M, Kozai H, Aoyama Y, Mori Y, Seguchi M, Ito M


Exertional heatstroke (EHS), a severe form of exertional heat illness (EHI), is the third leading cause of death in athletes; thus, early detection and prevention of EHI can help prevent EHS, which is a life-threatening condition. This study aimed to clarify the association between the cognizance of experiencing EHI and living conditions and specific EHI symptoms among collegiate athletes. This study was conducted in October 2022 by administering a questionnaire to 237 male collegiate athletes. Of the 215 (90.7%) respondents, 197 (91.6%) provided valid responses; among them, 88 (44.7%) responded they had experienced EHI, while 109 (55.3%) had not. A history of medical examinations due to EHI, having experienced headaches during summer activities, and having read the EHI manual were factors indicating cognizance of EHI. The number of times meals containing a staple food, main dish, and side dish were eaten in a day was a factor in preventing EHI. Early detection of EHI is important for its prevention, and it is important that athletes themselves have knowledge of symptoms and can correctly self-diagnose EHI. Emphasizing the potential of a well-balanced dietary intake has the potential to prevent EHI is crucial.

KEYWORDS: EHI, EHS, male collegiate athletes, cognizance of EHI, self-diagnose EHI, prevention

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