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Football codes the leading cause of hospitalised sports injury
More people are taken to hospital for injuries sustained playing Australian rules and football (soccer) than other sports, according to a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The just published report, Australian sports injury hospitalisations: 2011/12, shows that injuries sustained while playing the four football codes (AFL, football, rugby league and rugby union) make up the largest proportion of sports-related injuries requiring hospitalisation in Australia – with nearly a third of sports injury hospitalisations associated with playing various codes of football.
Commenting on the findings, AIHW spokesperson Professor James Harrison stated "Australian Rules football and soccer had the highest population-based rates of injury hospitalisation, with 18 and 17 cases per 100,000 people, respectively.
"A large number of hospitalisations were also associated with motor sports and water sports.
“Together with football, these three sports accounted for almost half (47%) of all sports injury hospitalisations."
During 2011/12, around 36,000 people aged 15 and over were hospitalised due to an injury sustained while playing sport, and spent a total of 79,000 days in hospital.
Professor Harrison added "the sport with the highest rate of participation-based hospitalisation was wheeled motor sports, such as motorcycling and go-carting, with 3,574 hospitalisations per 100,000 participants.”
"This was followed by roller sports (such as roller skating and skateboarding), with a rate of 2,312 hospitalisations per 100,000 participants."
Australian Rules football and rugby had high hospitalisation rates based on the number of participants, with 1,319 and 1,292 hospitalisations per 100,000 participants, respectively.
Football (soccer) was identified as one of the safer team sports when its high participation rate is taken into account.
Three sports: cycling; motor sports and equestrian activities-had a particularly high proportion of more severe injuries, with about one-quarter of cases considered to be life-threatening.
Injuries resulting from participation in wheeled motor sports had an average hospital stay of 3.5 days and accounted for the highest number of days spent by patients in hospital (over 9,500 days).
Professor Harrison concluded “the report also shows clear demographic trends; around two thirds of those admitted to hospital were aged under 35 and over three‑quarters were men.”
In all but two sports (netball and fishing), the most common diagnosis was a fracture. The most commonly affected body region was the knee and lower leg.
The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia"s health and welfare.
Click here to view the full publication: Australian sports injury hospitalisations: 2011/12.
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