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Women, older age, faster cycling speed and increased wind speeds are independent risk factors for acute injury-related medical encounters during a 109 km mass community-based participation cycling event: a 3-year study in 102251 race starters—SAFER XII
  1. Jannelene Killops1,2,
  2. Nicola Ann Sewry3,4,
  3. Martin Schwellnus3,4,
  4. Sonja Swanevelder5,
  5. Dina Janse van Rensburg1,
  6. Esme Jordaan5,6
  1. 1Sport, Exercise Medicine and Lifestyle Institute and Section Sports Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
  2. 2Mediclinic Southern Africa, Stellenbosch, South Africa
  3. 3Sport, Exercise Medicine and Lifestyle Institute (SEMLI), Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
  4. 4International Olympic Committee (IOC), Pretoria, South Africa
  5. 5Biostatistics Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Tygerberg, South Africa
  6. 6Statistics and Population Studies Department, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa
  1. Correspondence to Dr Martin Schwellnus, Sport, Exercise Medicine and Lifestyle Institute (SEMLI), University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0083, South Africa; mschwell{at}iafrica.com

Abstract

Background There are limited data on acute injury-related medical encounters (injuries) in endurance cycling events.

Objective To determine the risk factors for injuries during a mass community-based endurance cycling event.

Design Retrospective, cross-sectional study.

Setting Cape Town Cycle Tour (109 km), South Africa.

Participants 102 251 race starters.

Methods All injuries for 3 years were recorded by race medical doctors and nurses. Injuries were grouped into main anatomical area of injury, and a Poisson regression model was used to determine the risk factors associated with injuries.

Results The four injury risk factors associated with all injuries during an endurance cycling event were sex (women vs men, p<0.0001), older age (p=0.0005), faster cycling speed (p<0.0001) and higher average individualised Wind Speed (aiWindSpeed, p<0.0001). The only risk factor for serious/life-threatening injuries was women (p=0.0413). For specific main anatomical areas: head/neck (women), upper limb (women, older age, faster cyclists), trunk (women, higher aiWindSpeed), and lower limb (higher aiWindSpeed).

Conclusion Women, older age, faster cycling speed and higher aiWindSpeed were all risk factors for acute injuries during a mass community-based endurance cycling event. These risk factors should help inform race organisers and medical teams on race day to ensure the best medical care is given, and effective acute injury prevention programmes are disseminated.

  • bicycle
  • risk factor research
  • epidemiology
  • multiple injury
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Footnotes

  • Twitter @nsewry

  • Contributors JK: study concept, study planning, data collection, data cleaning, data interpretation and manuscript editing. NAS: data interpretation, manuscript (first draft) and manuscript editing. MS: responsible for the overall content as guarantor, study concept, study planning, data cleaning, data interpretation, manuscript (first draft), manuscript editing and facilitating funding. SS and EJ: study planning, data analysis including statistical analysis, data interpretation and manuscript editing. DJvR: study concept, study planning, data interpretation and manuscript editing.

  • Funding IOC Research Center (South Africa) (partial funding): RBU/cftr/2019-10.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval Ethical clearance was obtained from the Research Ethics Committee of the University of Pretoria (REC R430/2015).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement No data are available.

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