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Sports related injuries in Scottish adolescents aged 11-15.
  1. J M Williams,
  2. P Wright,
  3. C E Currie,
  4. T F Beattie
  1. Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.


    OBJECTIVES: To measure the age and sex distribution of self reported sports and leisure injuries in a 12 month retrospective recall period among a representative national sample of Scottish adolescents, and to examine the characteristics (gender, age, handedness, and level of sports participation) of sports related injuries in relation to injuries sustained during other activities. DESIGN/SETTING: Self completion questionnaire survey administered in schools during April-June 1994. SUBJECTS: 4710 pupils aged 11, 13, and 15 years drawn from a representative sample of 270 classes with returns from 224 classes (83% completion rate). RESULTS: 42.1% of the sample reported a medically attended injury. These were significantly more frequent among boys but there were no significant age differences in overall frequency of injury. Sport related injuries accounted for 32.2% of all medically attended injuries. As with all injuries, frequency was greater in boys than girls at all ages, and there are differences in the pattern of lesions in sports and nonsports injuries. Lower limb injuries were more frequent than upper limb injury in sports (57.6 v 23.9%), whereas there were no differences in non-sports injuries (31.5 v 31.3%). Age and handedness differences in sports injury rates were also identified. High sports participation was significantly associated with a higher risk of injury in general and sports related injury in particular. CONCLUSION: Age, gender, handedness, and level of sports participation have been shown to be implicated in differential risk of sports related injury. Reducing sports injury among adolescents should be a priority, but research into the injury profiles of different sports is needed before detailed injury prevention strategies can be developed.

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