Background The popularity of mountain biking (MB) has led to the development of commercial MB parks. Little is known about the injury profile and risk factors in these areas.
Objective To determine the injury profile and risk factors for severe injury among cyclists in MB parks.
Design Prospective case-control study. Cases were hospitalised cyclists injured in MB parks. Controls were cyclists injured in MB parks seen and discharged from the emergency department (ED).
Setting Four EDs in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Participants Recreational cyclists injured in a MB park who presented to one of the study EDs from May 2008 to August 2010. 351 patients were interviewed.
Assessment of risk factors Crash circumstances were captured through interviews and injury data through medical chart review.
Main outcome measurements Severe injury as defined by hospitalisation; levels within factors were compared using OR and 95% CI.
Results 23 participants were hospitalised (cases).The most common body region injured was the head/neck/face among cases, and the upper extremities among controls. 21% of cases and 9% of controls were female. A greater proportion of cases than controls were older than 25 years (22% vs 15%, respectively). Full-face helmets were used less among cases than controls (21% vs 41%, respectively). Arm and elbow protection was used more among cases than controls (arm: 13% vs 2%; elbow: 22% vs 8%). On univariate analyses, we found an indication of increased odds of severe injury among females (OR=2.8; 95% CI 0.96 to 8.06). Riding a new bicycle (OR=2.74; 95% CI 1.16 to 6.45) and cycling on grass compared with dirt (OR=7.06; 95% CI 1.21 to 41.33) increased the odds of severe injury.
Conclusion Preliminary analysis suggests surface and experience-related characteristics may increase the risk of severe injury. Case-control differences were noted in protective equipment use.
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