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Heat exhaustion and heat stroke among active component members of the U.S. Armed Forces, 2019-2023.

MSMR 2024 April 21
The most serious types of heat illnesses, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, are occupational hazards associated with many of the military's training and operational environments. These illnesses can typically be prevented by appropriate situational awareness, risk management strategies, along with effective countermeasures. In 2023, the crude incidence of heat stroke and heat exhaustion were 31.7 and 172.7 cases per 100,000 person-years, respectively. The rates of incident heat stroke declined during the 2019 to 2023 surveillance period, but rates of incident heat exhaustion increased over the same period. In 2023, higher rates of heat stroke were observed among male service members compared to their female counterparts, and female service members experienced higher rates of heat exhaustion compared to male personnel. Heat illness rates were also higher among those younger than age 20, Marine Corps and Army service members, non-Hispanic Black service members, and recruits. Leaders, training cadres, and supporting medical and safety personnel must inform their subordinate and supported service members of heat illness risks, preventive measures, early signs and symptoms of illness, and appropriate interventions.

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