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Rhabdomyolysis is characterized by the rapid breakdown of overworked intracellular muscle, skeletal muscle cells and the release of toxic fibers into the bloodstream. It is a significant threat to U.S. military members during physical exertion, particularly under heat stress. This report summarizes numbers, rates, trends, risk factors and locations of occurrences for exertional heat injuries, including exertional rhabdomyolysis for 2012-2016. In 2016, there were 525 incident diagnoses of rhabdomyolysis between 2013 and 2016 rates increased 46.2 percent – 69.7 percent of cases occurred during May through September. Risk factors for exertional rhabdomyolysis include being male, younger than 20 years of age, black, non-Hispanic, low level of physical fitness, prior heat injury and exertion during warmer months. Additional information about the causes and prevention of exertional rhabdomyolysis can be found in the MSMR at www.Health.mil/MSMR

Rhabdomyolysis is characterized by the rapid breakdown of overworked intracellular muscle, skeletal muscle cells and the release of toxic fibers into the bloodstream. It is a significant threat to U.S. military members during physical exertion, particularly under heat stress. This report summarizes numbers, rates, trends, risk factors and locations of occurrences for exertional heat injuries, including exertional rhabdomyolysis for 2012-2016.

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Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Physical Activity

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