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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  EPIDEMIOLOGY AND CLINICAL MEDICINE 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2019 March;59(3):496-501

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.18.08329-9

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Not just contact sports: significant numbers of sports-related concussions in cycling

Ingo HELMICH , Daniel von GÖTZ, Carina EMSERMANN, Fu XUANJIN, Anne GRIESE, Ilka LAUTERBACH, Hedda LAUSBERG

Department of Neurology, Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychiatry, Institute of Health Promotion and Clinical Movement Science, German Sport University Cologne (GSU), Köln, Germany



BACKGROUND: Although sports-related concussions (SRCs)/mild traumatic brain injuries in contact sports have recently received much attention, investigation of SRCs in cycling - a sport yielding some of the highest percentages of SRC - remains strikingly limited. In particular, rates of incidence, cycling-specific causes, and potential long-term effects of SRC have not been examined in this sport. Here, a retrospective online survey was used to investigate the incidence and potential long-term effects of SRCs among cyclists.
METHODS: A cycling-specific questionnaire was developed and administered to 2792 cyclists via an online survey. First, participants were asked about their acute symptomatology, and secondly, cycling-specific items and concussion history were addressed.
RESULTS: Of the 999 cyclists whom completed the questionnaire, 23.8% had experienced a concussion. Incidence of concussion was significantly higher in cyclists who were club members, who cycled more than 200 kilometers per week, and who wore a helmet. Cyclists with a history of concussion complained significantly more often about headaches, pressure in the head, sensitivity to light, confusion, and irritability.
CONCLUSIONS: Concussions in cycling are a serious injury with a high incidence relative to other sports. Although wearing a helmet reduces the risk of severe brain injury, interesting, the present results show a relation between helmet use, participation in cycling clubs, and increased concussion incidence. These data are in line with the growing number of findings showing that athletes with a history of concussion report more symptoms.


KEY WORDS: Brain concussion - Bicycling - Athletic injuries

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