Bicycle riding results in more visits to the emergency department than any other sports activity, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

In 2013, cycling accounted for 13.7% of the 2.8 million ED visits in which the patient was discharged. Walking/marching/hiking was next with 12.1% of ED visits, while unspecified sports activities were third with 10.3% of visits. Team sports took the next two spots: basketball accounted for 9.6% of visits and football accounted for 7.5%, the AHRQ reported.

Among those under age 18 years, who accounted for over 1.5 million ED visits (54.7%) in 2013, football was associated with the most visits for boys (16.4%) and school recess/summer camp led to the most visits (12.8%) for girls. Bicycle riding was the leading reason for males aged 18-44 (16%) and 45-64 (34.9%), while walking/marching/hiking was the leading reason for females aged 18-44 (25.6%) and 45-64 years (49%). For those older than 65 years, walking/marching/hiking was the most common reason for ED visits among both men (54.3%) and women (79.7%), according to data from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample.

The most common injuries in 2013 for sports-related ED visits (discharged) were sprains (24%), fractures (21%), and superficial injuries (18%). Among the top 10 injury-producing sports activities, cycling had the highest rate of superficial injuries at 26%, school recess/summer camp had the highest fracture rate (42%), and basketball led with a sprain rate of 40%, the AHRQ said.

rfranki@frontlinemedcom.com

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