Background: No systematic review has identified the incidence of running-related injuries per 1000 h of running in different types of runners.
Objective: The purpose of the present review was to systematically search the literature for the incidence of running-related injuries per 1000 h of running in different types of runners, and to include the data in meta-analyses.
Data sources: A search of the PubMed, Scopus, SPORTDiscus, PEDro and Web of Science databases was conducted.
Study selection: Titles, abstracts, and full-text articles were screened by two blinded reviewers to identify prospective cohort studies and randomized controlled trials reporting the incidence of running-related injuries in novice runners, recreational runners, ultra-marathon runners, and track and field athletes.
Study appraisal and synthesis methods: Data were extracted from all studies and comprised for further analysis. An adapted scale was applied to assess the risk of bias.
Results: After screening 815 abstracts, 13 original articles were included in the main analysis. Running-related injuries per 1000 h of running ranged from a minimum of 2.5 in a study of long-distance track and field athletes to a maximum of 33.0 in a study of novice runners. The meta-analyses revealed a weighted injury incidence of 17.8 (95% confidence interval [CI] 16.7-19.1) in novice runners and 7.7 (95% CI 6.9-8.7) in recreational runners.
Limitations: Heterogeneity in definitions of injury, definition of type of runner, and outcome measures in the included full-text articles challenged comparison across studies.
Conclusion: Novice runners seem to face a significantly greater risk of injury per 1000 h of running than recreational runners.