Sports-related hospital visits worry doctors

PREVENTION of heat illness is on the agenda in the US as first-ever figures show thousands are treated in emergency departments every year after succumbing during exercise.

Analysing data from 66 emergency departments from 2001 to 2009, researchers estimated nearly 6000 children and adults a year present to hospital with non-fatal heat illness following participation in sport and recreational activities.

Non-fatal heat illnesses were identified as 'heat exhaustion', 'dehydration' or 'overheated'.

Around 7% of patients are hospitalised, the researchers found.

Most patients were male (72.5%) and