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Bike Injuries Up Among Older Americans

Riders over 45 a big part of increase in hospital admissions for more severe accidents

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Injuries among older bicyclists have increased dramatically in recent years, according to a research letter published in the Sept. 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Benjamin Breyer, M.D., an associate professor of urology at the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues used data from the U.S. National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, a national sample of some 100 emergency departments that gather injury data. The number of bicycle-related injuries in those 18 or older was recorded every two years.

Between 1998 and 2013, bike injuries among all adults over the age of 18 increased 28 percent, while hospital admissions rose 120 percent. At the beginning of the study period, head injuries accounted for 10 percent of all cyclist-related injuries; this figure rose to 16 percent by the end of the period. Injuries among those over the age of 45 increased 81 percent during the study period, from 23 to 42 percent of total injuries. In addition, hospital admissions increased 66 percent, from 39 to 65 percent of total injuries.

“As cyclists in the U.S. shift to an older demographic, greater attention is needed in injury prevention measures through improved infrastructure, such as bike lanes, use of personal protective equipment, such as helmets, as well as improved rider and motorist education,” Breyer told HealthDay.

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