Gender differences in snowboarding accidents in Austria: a 2005-2018 registry analysis

BMJ Open. 2021 Oct 19;11(10):e053413. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-053413.


Objectives: To elucidate gender differences in snowboarding accidents.

Design: Retrospective registry analysis within the Austrian National Registry of Mountain Accidents.

Setting: Snowboard-related emergencies between November 2005 and October 2018.

Participants: All injured snowboarders with documented injury severity and gender (3536 men; 2155 women).

Primary and secondary outcome measures: Gender-specific analysis of emergency characteristics and injury patterns.

Results: Over time, the number of mild, severe and fatal injuries per season decreased in men but not in women. Accidents most frequently were interindividual collisions (>80%) and occurred when heading downhill on a slope. Men more often suffered injuries to the shoulder (15.1% vs 9.2%) and chest (6.8% vs 4.4%), were involved in accidents caused by falling (12.9% vs 9.6%) or obstacle impact (4.3% vs 1.5%), while on slopes with higher difficulty levels (red: 42.6% vs 39.9%; black: 4.2% vs 2.5%), while snowboarding in a park (4.8% vs 2.1%) and under the influence of alcohol (1.6% vs 0.5%). Women more often sustained injuries to the back (10.2% vs 13.1%) and pelvis (2.9% vs 4.2%), on easier slopes (blue: 46.1% vs 52.4%) and while standing or sitting (11.0% vs 15.8%). Mild injuries were more frequent in women (48.6% vs 56.4%), severe and fatal injuries in men (36.0% vs 29.7% and 0.9% vs 0.4%). Male gender, age and the use of a helmet were risk factors for the combined outcome of severe or fatal injuries (OR (99% CI): 1.22 (1.00 to 1.48), 1.02 (1.02 to 1.03) and 1.31 (1.05 to 1.63)). When wearing a helmet, the relative risk (RR) for severe injuries increased while that for mild injuries decreased in male snowboarders only (RR (95% CI): 1.21 (1.09 to 1.34) and 0.88 (0.83 to 0.95)).

Conclusions: Snowboard injuries are proportionally increasing in women and the observed injury patterns and emergency characteristics differ substantially from those of men. Further gender-specific research in snowboard-related injuries should be encouraged.

Trial registration number: NCT03755050.

Keywords: accident & emergency medicine; epidemiology; orthopaedic sports trauma; sports medicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents
  • Athletic Injuries*
  • Austria / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Skiing*

Associated data