It is well documented that the rate of injury is significantly lower for expert skiers and snowboarders than for beginners. A better understanding of the relation between the severity of injury and skill level is also needed for planning of injury prevention strategies.
To examine the severity and location of injuries sustained by self-reported expert and beginner skiers and snowboarders.
Design and Methods:
A case–control study design was used. Injured subjects had to report their skill level on a 5-point scale. Beginners (1) were compared with experts (5). Two sets of severely injured cases were defined based on the type of injury and ambulance evacuation. Controls were those who did not sustain severe injuries. Logistic regression analyses were performed to relate injury severity to the skill level. All analyses were controlling for age, sex, place of injury (snow-park versus other), helmet use, season and type of activity (skiing versus snowboarding).
Setting and Participants:
Subjects were 22 078 injured skiers and snowboarders who reported to the ski patrol with an injury sustained on the slopes (including snow-parks) of an alpine ski centre of the Canadian province of Québec from seasons 2001–2 to 2004–5.
There was evidence to suggest that expert skiers compared with beginners had an increased risk of experiencing a severe injury (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 1.88; 95% CI 1.58 to 2.23). Expert snowboarders were more likely to have a severe injury or be evacuated by ambulance (AOR 1.18; 95% CI 1.02 to 1.38). The risk of severe head or neck, trunk and upper extremity injuries was significantly greater.
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British Journal of Sports Medicine