Hyperthermia and dehydration-related deaths associated with intentional rapid weight loss in three collegiate wrestlers--North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Michigan, November-December 1997

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1998 Feb 20;47(6):105-8.


During November 7-December 9, 1997, three previously healthy collegiate wrestlers in different states died while each was engaged in a program of rapid weight loss to qualify for competition. In the hours preceding the official weigh-in, all three wrestlers engaged in a similar rapid weight-loss regimen that promoted dehydration through perspiration and resulted in hyperthermia. The wrestlers restricted food and fluid intake and attempted to maximize sweat losses by wearing vapor-impermeable suits under cotton warm-up suits and exercising vigorously in hot environments. This report summarizes the investigation of these three cases.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dehydration*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Fever*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Michigan
  • North Carolina
  • Weight Loss*
  • Wisconsin
  • Wrestling*