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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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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.