Incidence of acute injuries among licensed and non-licensed cyclists using insurance registry data

Helena Stigson
Malin Åman

Few previous studies have examined acute injuries in competitive cycling or training as compared to other sports. By using nationwide insurance data including all injured cyclist registered in the Swedish Cycling Federation and all reported injuries during exercise race in Sweden, the objective was to examine acute injuries during competitive cycling or training for different types of cyclists. The injury incidence and injuries leading to permanent medical impairment were examined. All cyclists that were injured during 2008-2017 were included (n=1937). Among the 2666 licensed cyclists the incidence of cyclists injured during training or competition was 44 per 1000 licensed cyclists per year. Focusing on participants in exercise races, the incidence was annually 1.5 injured cyclists per 1000 participants per year. The most commonly injured body region was the upper extremity (41%), followed by head and neck (18%). In total 9.4% of all injured cyclists sustained a permanent medical impairment. Given an injury, non-licensed participants in exercise races were slightly older, and the proportion of females were higher (30% vs. 16%), than among licensed cyclists. The injury incidence among the cyclists was high, and to maintain a healthy and physically active population it is important to make efforts to prevent injuries.

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