Practice Economics

Cycling accounts for the most sports-related ED visits



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.

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