n International SportMed Journal - Injuries at the Summer Asian Games 2010 : a prospective epidemiologic study in national athletes : original research article

Volume 15, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1528-3356



Recently, there has been increasing interest in gathering epidemiological data through standardised assessment for the health of athletes.

This study prospectively examined the epidemiologic profile of acute and chronic sports injuries incurred by the national athletes of the Korean Olympic Committee (KOC) during the 16th Summer Asian Games.
Prospective epidemiologic surveillance.
All medical personnel of the KOC were instructed to complete and return a daily injury report form, and all physicians were asked to fill in the clinical diagnoses after a thorough examination. The frequency, characteristics, and clinical diagnoses of all sports injuries were examined, and the incidence and injury risk across different sports were compared. Chronic conditions prevalent in elite athletes were also assessed.
The number of sports injuries that were reported was 725 (430 athletes); of these 725, 288 were acute injuries (209 athletes), including 68 recurrent injuries (58 athletes), and 437 were chronic injuries (305 athletes). The largest number of acute and recurrent injuries was reported in athletics (37 acute injuries and 16 recurrent injuries). Acute injuries were incurred in competition (n=126; 43.8%) and during practice (n=162; 56.3%), and recurrent injuries in competition (n=18; 26.5%) and during practice (n=50; 73.5%). The incidence rate (IR) of acute injuries was 37.9 (95% Confidence Interval [CI]; 33.5-42.3) injuries/1,000 athlete-exposures (AEs), and the IR of recurrent injuries was 9.0 (95% CI; 6.8-11.1) injuries/1,000 AEs. Athletics also showed the highest IRs for both acute and recurrent injuries (245.0 injuries/1,000 AEs, 95% CI; 166.1-324.0, and 106.0 injuries/1,000 AEs, 95% CI; 54.0-157.9, respectively). 26.4% (95% CI; 23%-30%) of the registered athletes sustained acute injuries, and 7.3% (95% CI; 6%-9%) of them incurred recurrent injuries. Basketball (67%, 95% CI; 48%-86%) and field hockey (66%, 95% CI; 49%-82%) showed high IPs for acute injuries and the IP for recurrent injuries was high in athletics (27%, 95% CI; 14%-40%). Lateral ankle ligament sprain was the most frequent acute injury (n=28; 9.7%, 95% CI; 27-29), whereas calf muscle cramps was the most frequent recurrent injury (n=11; 16.2%, 95% CI; 10.3-11.7). The prevalence of chronic injuries was highest in wrestling (n=31; 7.1%, 95% CI; 26.7-35.3), and the most prevalent chronic injury was chronic ankle instability and lumbar myofascial pain (n=51; 11.7%, 95% CI; 49.6-52.4, respectively).
The statistics of this epidemiologic study indicated the wide range of the incidence, prevalence and characteristics of injuries in different sports during the 16th Summer Asian Games, and the data from the sports might be compared using the statistical measures of the injury surveillance in this study. Therefore injury prevention programmes should be tailored to the injury profile of the respective sport for the major international multi-sport events.

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