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Epidemiology of medically treated sport and active recreation injuries in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria, Australia
  1. E P Cassell1,
  2. C F Finch2,
  3. V Z Stathakis1
  1. 1Monash University Accident Research Centre, Monash University, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University
  1. Correspondence to:
 Ms Erin Cassell, Monash University Accident Research Centre, PO Box 70A, Monash University, Victoria, Australia 3800; 


Objective: To quantify and describe medically treated sport and active recreation injuries in a defined region of the Latrobe Valley from 7 November 1994 to 6 November 1995.

Method: A geographic target area was defined, restricted to the six postcodes that fell wholly within the catchment area of the Latrobe Regional Hospital. Data describing medically treated sport and active recreation injuries to Latrobe Valley residents aged over 4 years (about 70 000) were selected by postcode from three sources: the Victorian Admitted Episodes Dataset (hospital admissions), the Victorian Injury Surveillance System (presentations to hospital emergency departments), and the Extended Latrobe Valley Injury Surveillance (ELVIS) project (presentations to general practitioners).

Results: At least 2300 cases of medically treated sport and active recreation injury were recorded. This corresponds to a hospital admission rate of 16/10 000 population, emergency department presentation rate of 169/10 000 population, and a general practitioner presentation rate of 187/10 000 population. There were more male patients than female, and younger age groups were also overrepresented, but these data may reflect the greater participation of these groups in sport and active recreation. Australian football was associated with the highest number of injuries (accounting for 24.0% and 22.0% of presentations to emergency departments and general practitioners respectively) followed by cycling (15.7% and 12.6%) and basketball (17.5% and 13.5%).

Conclusions: This study shows that routine health sector data collections in defined populations can provide useful information on the size, distribution, and characteristics of the problem of sport and active recreation injuries at the community level. However, all current health sector systems for injury data collection and surveillance require attention to improve case capture and identification and data quality.

  • injury
  • epidemiology
  • ELVIS, Extended Latrobe Valley Injury Surveillance
  • GP, general practitioner
  • VAED, Victorian Admitted Episodes Dataset
  • VISS, Victorian Injury Surveillance System
  • ED, emergency department
  • ISIS, Injury Surveillance Intelligence System
  • CI, confidence interval

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