Alpine snowboarding and skiing are popular winter activities across the U.S., but a recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal Injury Prevention suggests that the incidence of Traumatic Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury associated with these sports has steadily increased in every country that reports injury data.
Researchers focused on international data collected from 1990 to 2004 concerning reported injuries related to mountain skiing and snowboarding. They determined that the percentage of head injuries among skiers increased from 12% in 1993 to 15% in 1997. The rate of injuries of snowboarders quintupled in the same length of time. Furthermore, the study demonstrated that helmet use could reduce the incidence of Traumatic Brain Injury associated with the sports by between 22% and 60%.
Authors of the study suggest that the increased incidence of injuries in the sports coincides with faster speeds and acrobatic maneuvers that have gradually become the norm among skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts over the last 15 years.
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