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In a two-year nationwide study of 16 ski areas in the United States, using Ski Patrol Incidence reports, a total of 23 011 verified accidents during 8.58 million skier visits were reported. A control group of skiers was randomly selected (n = 2573) to determine the demographic characteristics of the population at risk.
The study shows that differences in the injury pattern (part of body, and nature of injury) between males and females are as dramatic within a given snow skiing activity (alpine versus snowboard) as are the differences between the two snow skiing activities themselves. The overall rates of injuries per thousand skier visits are not significantly different between males and females when assessed for ability, yet the patterns are very different. For example, in snowboard skiing, the female wrist and knee injury rate is about twice that for males, the male face and head injury rate is three times that for females, and the male ankle rate is almost twice that of females. In snowboard skiing, the male fracture rate is higher and the male strain/sprain rate is lower than for females. In alpine skiing, the female knee injury rate is twice that of males.
alpine and snowboard skiing, gender, injury patterns
Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
President, Vermont Ski Safety Equipment, Inc., Underhill, VT