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Basketball vs. hockey—the changing face of sport-related injuries in Canada


Objective — To characterize and compare the incidence of basketball-related, soccer-related, and hockey-related injuries over a 10-year period.

Design — Cohort analysis of sport-related injuries using multiple Ontario healthcare databases.

Setting — Emergency department visits in Ontario, Canada.

Patients — Any patient who sustained musculoskeletal injuries sustained while playing basketball, soccer, or hockey between 2006 and 2017 were identified.

Assessment of Risk Factors — Sport of injury, age, sex, rurality index, marginalization status, and comorbidity score.

Main Outcome Measures — Annual Incidence Density Rates of injury were calculated for each sport, and significance of trends was analyzed by assessing overlap of 95% confidence intervals.

Results — One lakhs eighty five thousand eighty hundred sixty-eight patients (median age: 16 years, interquartile range 13-26) received treatment for sport-related injuries (basketball = 55 468; soccer = 67 021; and hockey = 63 379). The incidence of basketball-related and soccer-related injuries increased from 3.4 (3.3-3.5) to 5.6 (5.5-5.7) and 4.4 (4.3-4.5) to 4.9 (4.8-5) per 10 000 person years, respectively, whereas the incidence of hockey-related injuries decreased from 4.7 (4.6-4.8) to 3.7 (3.6-3.8). Patients with basketball injuries were more marginalized (3.01 ± 0.74) compared with patients with soccer and hockey injuries (2.90 ± 0.75 and 2.72 ± 0.69, respectively).

Conclusions — Accurate regional epidemiologic information regarding sports injuries can be used to guide policy development for municipal planning and sport program development. The trends and demographic patterns described highlight general and sport-specific injury patterns in Ontario. Populations with the highest incidence of injury, most notably adolescents and men older than 50, may represent an appropriate population for injury risk prevention.



Axelrod D, Ziegler T, Pincus D, Widdifield J, Marks P, Paterson M, Wasserstein D. Clin J Sport Med. 2022; 32(3):e281-7. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

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