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J Sci Med Sport. 2012 Jul;15(4):298-304. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2011.12.005. Epub 2012 Jan 12.

A population-based study of sport and recreation-related head injuries treated in a Canadian health region.

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Alberta Centre for Injury Control and Research, Canada; School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Canada.



To report the rates of SR-related HIs presenting to EDs in a Canadian population-based sample.


Descriptive epidemiology study.


Using administrative data, sport and recreation-related emergency department presentations for persons 0-35 years of age, from April 1997 through March 2008, were obtained from the Edmonton Zone (formerly the Capital Health Region), Alberta Health Services through the Ambulatory Care Classification System.


Of the 3,230,890 visits to the emergency departments of the five hospitals in Edmonton, 63,219 sport and recreation-related injury records and 4935 sport and recreation-head injury records were identified. Head injuries were most frequently treated for the activities of hockey (20.7%), cycling (12.0%), and skiing/snowboarding/sledding. Males accounted for 71.9% (n=3546) and patients less than 18 years of age sustained 3446 (69.8%) sport and recreation-head injuries.


Sport and recreation-related head injuries most frequently treated in emergency departments involve common activities such as hockey, cycling, skiing/snowboarding/sledding, and soccer. Males and those less than 18 years of age sustain the majority of sport and recreation-related head injuries treated in emergency departments. These findings underscore the importance of sport-specific policies and safety promotion for the prevention of head injuries, in sports and recreational activities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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