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Medical Emergencies During a Half Marathon Race - The Influence of Weather.

Journal article
Authors Eric Carlström
Mats Börjesson
Gunnar Palm
Amir Khorram-Manesh
Fredrik Lindberg
Björn Holmer
Andreas Berner
Per Örninge
Hampus Luning
Finn nilsson
Carita Gelang
Sofia Thorsson
Published in International journal of sports medicine
Volume 40
Issue 5
Pages 312-316
ISSN 1439-3964
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Surgery
Department of Earth Sciences
Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Department of Food and Nutrition, and Sport Science
Pages 312-316
Language en
Subject categories Sport and Fitness Sciences


The aim was to analyze the influence of weather conditions on medical emergencies in a half-marathon, specifically by evaluating its relation to the number of non-finishers, ambulance-required assistances, and collapses in need of ambulance as well as looking at the location of such emergencies on the race course. Seven years of data from the world's largest half marathon were used. Meteorological data were obtained from a nearby weather station, and the Physiological Equivalent Temperature (PET) index was used as a measure of general weather conditions. Of the 315,919 race starters, 104 runners out of the 140 ambulance-required assistances needed ambulance services due to collapses. Maximum air temperature and PET significantly co-variated with ambulance-required assistances, collapses, and non-finishers (R2=0.65-0.92; p=0.001-0.03). When air temperatures vary between 15-29°C, an increase of 1°C results in an increase of 2.5 (0.008/1000) ambulance-required assistances, 2.5 (0.008/1000) collapses (needing ambulance services), and 107 (0.34/1000) non-finishers. The results also indicate that when the daily maximum PET varies between 18-35°C, an increase of 1°C PET results in an increase of 1.8 collapses (0.006/1000) needing ambulance services and 66 non-finishers (0.21/1000).

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