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Epidemiological analysis of large numbers of ski injuries has been used over the last 20 years to identify trends and problem areas and to evaluate progress in the reduction of injuries. This paper reviews the ways in which modern epidemiological methods have been used and, in some cases, misused. Specific issues that are reviewed in this paper include (1) the 1962 Mount Snow study and the 1972 follow-up study, which failed in its follow-up to consider the rate of injury and concentrated on the percentages, thus causing the authors to reach conclusions that were not supported by the data; (2) the use of statistics to support the value of antifriction devices (AFDs) and ski brakes, in spite of reports to the contrary; and (3) the use of statistics to confirm the overall decline in injuries and, more specifically, in lower extremity equipment-related injuries.
epidemiological studies, ski injuries, skiing safety, skiing trauma
Shealy, Jasper E.
Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY