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Bikes and brain injuries: CDC study looks at ER visits

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Atlanta — Bicycling-related traumatic brain injuries led to nearly 600,000 emergency room visits in the United States over a recent 10-year period, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates.

After analyzing 2009-2018 data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program, researchers from the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control concluded that an estimated 596,972 ER visits for bicycle-related traumatic brain injuries had occurred.

The highest rates of ER visits occurred among men and children/adolescents 10 to 14 years old. Over the course of the study period, the rate dropped 48.7% among children and 5.5% among adults. However, in 2018, 857 adult bicyclists died – the highest number in two decades.

The researchers say interventions that increase bicyclists’ helmet use and drivers’ compliance with traffic laws, improvements in bicycling infrastructure, and targeted interventions for men and other high-risk groups may help reduce injuries.

 

The study was published online May 14 in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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