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Ellen Yard and Dawn Comstock

Background:

There are over 7 million US high school athletes and one-third are overweight or obese. Our objective was to examine injury patterns by body mass index (BMI) in high school athletes.

Methods:

Certified athletic trainers (ATCs) at 100 nationally representative US high schools submitted exposure and injury information during the 2005 to 08 school years via High School RIO (Reporting Information Online). We retrospectively categorized injured athletes as underweight (≤15th percentile), normal weight (15th−85th percentile), overweight (85th−95th percentile), or obese (≥95th percentile).

Results:

ATCs reported 13,881 injuries during 5,627,921 athlete-exposures (2.47 injuries per 1000 athlete-exposures). Nearly two-thirds (61.4%) of injured high school athletes were normal weight. The prevalence of overweight and obesity was highest among injured football athletes (54.4%). Compared with normal weight athletes, obese athletes sustained a larger proportion of knee injuries (Injury Proportion Ratio [IPR] = 1.27, 95% CI: 1.14 to 1.42) and their injuries were more likely to have resulted from contact with another person (IPR = 1.31, 95% CI: 1.26 to 1.37). Compared with normal weight athletes, underweight athletes sustained a larger proportion of fractures (IPR = 1.45, 95% CI: 1.10 to 1.92) and a larger proportion of injuries resulting from illegal activity (IPR = 1.59, 95% CI: 1.03 to 2.46).

Conclusions:

Injury patterns differ by BMI. BMI-targeted preventive interventions should be developed to help decrease sports injury rates.

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Zachary Y. Kerr, Sarah Fields and R. Dawn Comstock

Background:

Little is known about the epidemiology of dog sport–related injuries. This study examines injuries among handlers and dogs in the sport of dog agility.

Methods:

A cross-sectional pilot study captured data on demographics, exposures, and injury for a sample of agility handlers and dogs. Logistic regressions predicted odds of injury.

Results:

Survey of 217 handlers and 431 dogs identified 31 handler injuries (1.55 training injuries per 1000 hours, 2.14 competition injuries per 1000 runs) and 38 dog injuries (1.74 training injuries per 1000 hours, 1.72 competition injuries per 1000 runs). Handlers most commonly injured knees (48.4%) and lower trunk (29.0%). Most common diagnoses were strains (51.6%) and sprains (32.3%). Obese handlers had increased odds of injury compared with normal weight handlers (OR = 5.5, P < .001). Dogs most commonly injured front paws (23.7%) and shoulders (15.8%). Most common diagnoses were strains (44.7%) and cut/scrapes (21.1%). Injury was positively associated with dog’s age (P < .05). Handlers more commonly reported positive physical, emotional, and social motivations for participation than competitive.

Conclusions:

Despite many health benefits, dog agility poses a risk of injury to both handlers and dogs. Future research on specific mechanisms of injury should drive evidence-based injury prevention strategies.

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Marcus A. Badgeley, Natalie M. McIlvain, Ellen E. Yard, Sarah K. Fields and R. Dawn Comstock

Background:

With more than 1.1 million high school athletes playing annually during the 2005−06 to 2009−10 academic years, football is the most popular boys’ sport in the United States.

Methods:

Using an internet-based data collection tool, RIO, certified athletic trainers (ATs) from 100 nationally representative US high schools reported athletic exposure and football injury data during the 2005−06 to 2009−10 academic years.

Results:

Participating ATs reported 10,100 football injuries corresponding to an estimated 2,739,187 football-related injuries nationally. The injury rate was 4.08 per 1000 athlete-exposures (AEs) overall. Offensive lineman collectively (center, offensive guard, offensive tackle) sustained 18.3% of all injuries. Running backs (16.3%) sustained more injuries than any other position followed by linebackers (14.9%) and wide receivers (11.9%). The leading mechanism of injury was player-player contact (64.0%) followed by player-surface contact (13.4%). More specifically, injury occurred most commonly when players were being tackled (24.4%) and tackling (21.8%).

Conclusions:

Patterns of football injuries vary by position. Identifying such differences is important to drive development of evidence-based, targeted injury prevention efforts.

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Sarah K. Fields and R. Dawn Comstock

Rugby, a fast-paced, aggressive contact sport, has a high incidence of injury. This study examines why US women play rugby given the social stigma surrounding women’s participation in sports in general, particularly contact sports, and despite the high risk of injury. In a survey of their injury history and potential injury risk factors, 339 female rugby players from 14 teams of varied quality and levels of play from a wide geographic area in the United States were asked why they played the sport. Their responses indicate that women play rugby because they enjoy the game, they like the aggressive aspects of the sport, they appreciate the social aspects of the game, and they believe the sport provides them with positive benefits, such as increased fitness, confidence, and strength. The results of this study indicate that many women are willing to risk injury for the positive rewards that they associate with rugby.