Injuries in high-risk persons and high-risk sports. A longitudinal study of 1818 school children

Am J Sports Med. Mar-Apr 1991;19(2):124-30. doi: 10.1177/036354659101900206.


In this Dutch population-based study we attempted to determine the incidence and severity of sports injuries occurring during different kind of sports in a longitudinal way. The study included 1818 school children aged 8 to 17 years. Over a period of 7 months, 399 sports injuries were reported in 324 youngsters. The most common types of injuries were contusions (43%) and sprains (21%). Medical attention was needed in 25% of all cases. Young basketball, handball and korfball players had a nearly 100% chance of suffering one sports injury per year. Volleyball especially had a high incidence rate in practice (6.7 in 1000 hours). Although physical education classes had a low incidence rate, there were significantly more fractures on the upper limb. Etiologically, sports-related factors were much more important than personal-bound factors. The injured youths spent more time in practice than the noninjured ones, both in organized and nonorganized sports (P less than 0.001). High-risk sports were characterized by contact, a high jump rate, and indoor activities. These three factors explained 78% of the total variance. The contact versus noncontact factor accounted for 48% of the medically treated injuries. An additional goal of this study was to explore the seasonal influence as an extrinsic environmental factor. We found that the duration of injury was increased in the spring (P less than 0.05). Specific preventive measures were formulated in order to reduce the number of new and recurring injuries and a proposal was made to implement injury prevention in school curriculums.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Seasons