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063 Independent risk factors associated with injury-related medical encounters during a 109 km cycling event are female sex, older age, faster cycling speed and environmental conditions: a SAFER study in 102251 race starters
  1. Jannelene Killops1,2,
  2. Nicola Sewry3,4,
  3. Martin Schwellnus1,4,
  4. Sonja Swanevelder5,
  5. Christa Janse van Rensburg1,
  6. Esme Jordaan5,6
  1. 1Sport, Exercise Medicine and Lifestyle Institute (SEMLI) and Section Sports Medicine, Pretoria, South Africa
  2. 2Mediclinic Southern Africa, Stellenbosch, South Africa
  3. 3Sport, Exercise Medicine and Lifestyle Institute (SEMLI), Pretoria, South Africa
  4. 4IOC Research Centre, South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
  5. 5Biostatistics Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa
  6. 6Statistics and Population Studies Department, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa


Background Injury-related medical encounters (injMEs) are common in mass community-based participation cycling events, but there are limited data on the risk factors associated with injuries in endurance cycling events.

Objective To determine the risk factors associated with injMEs in a mass community-based endurance cycling event.

Design Retrospective, cross-sectional study.

Setting Cape Town Cycle Tour (109 km), South Africa.

Participants 102251 race starters.

Assessment of Risk Factors All injMEs (and a subgroup of serious injMEs) for the 3 years were recorded by race medical doctors and nurses and grouped into main anatomical area of injury. The following possible risk factors associated with injMEs were explored: sex, age, cycling speed and environmental exposure [calculated as average individual Wet-Bulb Globe Temperature (iWBGTavg)].

Main Outcome Measures Independent risk factors associated with injMEs, serious injMEs, and injMEs by main anatomical areas using a Poisson regression model.

Results For all injMEs, the independent risk factors associated during an endurance cycling event were: sex (women vs men p<0.0001), older age (p=0.0005), faster cycling speed (p<0.0001) and higher average individualised Wind Speed (aiWindSpeed,p<0.0001).The only risk factor for serious/life-threatening injuries was women (p=0.0413)For specific main anatomical areas the risk factors were: head/neck (women), upper limb (women,older age, faster cyclists), trunk (women, higher aiWindSpeed) lower limb (higher aiWindSpeed).

Conclusion Women, older age, faster cycling speed higher aiWindSpeed were all risk factors for acute injuries during an endurance cycling event. These risk factors should help inform race organisers and medical teams on race day to ensure the best medical care is given, and effective acute injury prevention programmes are disseminated.

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