Aim To determine the injury incidence rate and injury pattern among youth karate athletes competing in national tournaments in Slovakia, and to identify risk factors for injury.
Methods Data were collected at nine national youth karate tournaments in Slovakia in 2015 and 2016. Injury incidence rates were calculated per 1000 athlete-exposures (IIRAE) and per 1000 min of exposure (IIRME) with 95% CIs. Subgroups were compared by calculating their rate ratios (RR) with 95% CIs.
Results The overall IIRAE and IIRME were 45.3 (95% CI 38.7 to 52.6) and 35.9 (95% CI 30.7 to 41.7), respectively. The most frequently injured anatomical region was the head/neck (57%), while the most common type of injury was contusion (85%). The risk of injury for the 12–17-year-old age group was almost twice that of the 6–12-year-old age group, after accounting for exposure time (RRME 1.92 (95% CI 1.39 to 2.65)), and the difference was more pronounced for girls than boys (RRME 2.47 (95% CI 1.52 to 4.00) vs RRME 1.62 (95% CI 1.06 to 2.49), respectively).
Conclusions Youth karate has a relatively large proportion of head injuries. Adolescent and female youth karate athletes are at higher risk of injury compared with their child and male counterparts.
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Contributors DC: first author; substantial contributions to conception and design; data collection; revising the manuscript critically for important intellectual content; and final approval of the version to be published.
RPL: second author; substantial contributions to conception and design, analysis and interpretation of data; drafting the manuscript and revising it critically for important intellectual content; and final approval of the version to be published.
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Physical Education and Sports, Comenius University, Bratislava.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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