The epidemiology of injury in adventure and extreme sports

Med Sport Sci. 2012:58:1-16. doi: 10.1159/000338558. Epub 2012 Jul 18.


The objective of this article is to provide an overview of the current knowledge related to the epidemiology of injury in selected adventure and extreme sports. PubMed and Google Scholar were searched using the terms 'epidemiology', 'injury,' 'adventure sports' and 'extreme sports'. Publications from the past 10 years were largely selected, but commonly referenced or highly regarded older publications were also included. References lists of articles identified in the search strategy were also searched and articles selected that were judged to be relevant. Important aspects of the epidemiology of injury related to adventure and extreme sports are discussed including occurrence of injury, who is affected by injury, where and when injury occurs, injury outcome, risk factors, inciting events, prevention and further research. Given the life-changing impact injury can have in sports (personal, social, financial, psychological, political, and medical), the current paucity of well-designed descriptive and particularly analytical epidemiological studies in some adventure and extreme sports is disturbing. The importance of denominator-based and longitudinal data collection in obtaining an accurate picture of injury risk and severity and as a basis for testing risk factors and evaluating preventive measures is emphasized.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / economics
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors