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Am J Prev Med. 2011 Apr;40(4):462-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2010.12.018.

Boxing injuries presenting to U.S. emergency departments, 1990-2008.

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Center for Injury Research and Policy, the Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio, USA.



Boxing injuries can have serious consequences.


To examine the epidemiology of boxing injuries in the U.S. with attention to head injuries and children.


National estimates of boxing injuries were calculated using data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. Injury rates per 1000 participants for the year 2003 were calculated using boxing participation data. Data analysis was conducted in 2009-2010.


An estimated 165,602 individuals (95% CI=134891, 196313) sustained boxing injuries that resulted in a visit to a U.S. hospital emergency department from 1990 through 2008. An average of 8716 (95% CI=7078, 10354) injuries occurred annually, and there was a statistically significant increase in the annual number of injuries during the 19-year study period (slope=610, p<0.001). The rate of injury was 12.7 per 1000 participants. Those injured were predominately male (90.9%). The most common diagnosis was fracture (27.5%), and the most common body regions injured were the hand (33.0%) and head and neck (22.5%). Punching bag-related injuries accounted for 36.8% of boxing injuries. The percentage of injuries that were concussions/closed head injuries in the group aged 12-17 years (8.9%) was similar to that in the group aged 18-24 years (8.1%) and the group aged 25-34 years (8.5%).


These findings, based on a nationally representative sample, indicate that injuries related to boxing are increasing in number. Increased efforts are needed to prevent boxing injuries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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