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Growth, maturation and overuse injuries in dance and aesthetic sports: a systematic reviewKolokythas, Nico; Metsios, George; Dinas, P; Allen, Nick; Galloway, Shaun; Wyon, Matthew (Taylor & Francis, 2021-01-24)Overuse injuries are the most prevalent injuries in aesthetic sports, due to the repetitive nature of the training. Evidence of their relationship with growth, maturation, and training load is equivocal. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of these factors on overuse injuries in dance and aesthetic sports. A database search was conducted using standard methods for article identification, selection, and risk of bias appraisal. The eligibility criteria for inclusion in the study consisted of peer-reviewed articles using any type of study design. Twenty-three studies met the criteria. These studies were cross-sectional in design, focusing on dance, gymnastics and diving. Nineteen studies indicated a positive association between growth, maturation, and overuse injuries and a further 6 reported a positive association with training load. There were inconsistencies in how the included studies accounted for important confounding associations of growth and maturation, in addition to showing high or unclear risk of bias. In conclusion, both the quantity and quality of research available on growth, maturation, and training load in association with overuse injuries in dance and aesthetic sports is lacking. The methodological approaches used, combined with the heterogeneity of the investigated populations, lead to equivocal and thus inconclusive results.