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  1. A Ezzat,
  2. A Schneeberg,
  3. M Koehoorn
  1. School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada


Background Despite the multitude of benefits of sport participation, it is the leading cause of injury requiring medical attention in Canadian youth. Previous research found both increased exposure to sport and body mass index (BMI) are injury risk factors. As a modifiable risk factor, further examination of the association between being obese or overweight and sport injury is warranted, accounting for sport exposure level.

Objective To examine the relationship between sport injury and overweight and obese weight, versus normal weight, among a sub-sample of adolescents. It is hypothesized that overweight and obese adolescents will have increased odds of sport injury.

Design Cross-sectional analysis of the national population-based Canadian Community Health Survey (2009/10) by Statistics Canada.

Setting Canada.

Participants Nationally representative sample (n=6163) of Canadian adolescents aged 12–19 years, classified ‘active’ by daily energy expenditure in physical activity minimum 3 METS (Kcal/kg/day).

Risk factor assessment BMI was calculated using self-report data. Using Coles Classification System, participants were grouped: normal, overweight, or obese categories. Other variables (sex, ethnicity, daily physical activity, socio-economic status) were included in the multivariable logistic regression analysis to control for confounding.

Main outcome measurements Sport injury: an injury in the past 12 months while engaged in sport or exercise.

Results Among the sample of active adolescents, 25% (n=1 529) reported a sport injury in the past 12 months. In the final adjusted model, no significant relationship was found between being overweight and sport injury (OR=1.05 95% CI=0.90–1.22). A significantly reduced odds of sport injury was observed among obese adolescents (OR=0.72 95% CI=0.53–0.99) compared to their normal weight counterparts.

Conclusions Overweight or obese active adolescents do not appear to be at increased risk of sports injury in this sample. The decreased odds among obese adolescents may be because of differences in intensity of sport participation or type of sporting activity.

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