Objectives: This study examined the morbidity and mortality from bicycling injuries in Wuhan, China.
Methods: Police department data for the year 1993 complemented by data from emergency room interviews were analyzed.
Results: The death rate from bicycling injuries was estimated as 2.2 per 100000 population, more than seven times the rate for the United States. At least 79% of the fatalities and 17% of the emergency room cases sustained head injuries, the majority (71%) of which resulted from contact of the head with the concrete or asphalt road. None of the patients was wearing a helmet at the time of injury, and helmet use among the general bicyclist population was nonexistent.
Conclusions: Bicycle-related head injury is an important public health issue in China. The effectiveness of safety helmets in developing countries needs to be evaluated.