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A prospective cohort study of injury incidence and risk factors in North Carolina high school competitive cheerleaders

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Authors

Mark R Schulz; Stephen W Marshall; Jingzhen Yang; Frederick O Mueller; Nancy L Weaver; J Michael Bowling

Abstract

Background

Cheerleaders suffer nearly half of catastrophic injuries observed in female scholastic athletes in the United States. However, incidence of noncatastrophic injury in this population has not been described.

Hypothesis

Coach, athlete, and injury circumstance variables may predict the injury rate among cheerleaders.

Study design

Prospective cohort.

Methods

The authors investigated injury incidence in a sample of North Carolina female cheerleaders who competed inter-scholastically from 1996 to 1999. Injury, exposure, and demographic data were collected from squads that participated in the North Carolina High School Athletic Injury Study.

Results

Cheerleaders suffered 133 injuries during 1701 athlete seasons. More than 21% of the injuries were ankle sprains. The injury rate was 8.7; the 95% confidence interval (CI) was 6.5 to 11.7 per 10,000 athlete exposures. In a multivariate Poisson regression model, cheerleaders supervised by coaches with the most education, qualifications, and training (coach EQT) had a nearly 50% reduction in injury risk (rate ratio [RR], 0.5; 95% CI, 0.3-0.9), and cheerleaders supervised by coaches with medium coach EQT had a nearly 40% reduction in injury risk (RR = 0.6; 95% CI, 0.3-1.2) compared to cheerleaders supervised by coaches with low coach EQT.

Link

Schulz MR, Marshall SW, Yang J, Mueller FO, Weaver NL, Bowling JM. A prospective cohort study of injury incidence and risk factors in North Carolina high school competitive cheerleaders. Am J Sports Med. 2004;32(2):396-405. doi:10.1177/0363546503261715

Keywords

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