Effectiveness of helmets in skiers and snowboarders: case-control and case crossover study

Authors: Hagel, Brent E.; Pless, Ivan B. (Ivan Barry); Goulet, Claude; Platt, Robert W.; Robitaille, Yvonne
Abstract: Objective To determine the effect of helmets on the risk of head and neck injuries in skiers and snowboarders. Design Matched case-control and case crossover study. Setting 19 ski areas in Quebec, Canada, November 2001 to April 2002. Participants 1082 skiers and snowboarders (cases) with head and neck injuries reported by the ski patrol and 3295 skiers and snowboarders (controls) with non-head or non-neck injuries matched to cases at each hill. Main outcome measures Estimates of matched odds ratios for the effect of helmet use on the risk of any head or neck injury and for people requiring evacuation by ambulance. Results The adjusted odds ratio for helmet use in participants with any head injury was 0.71 (95% confidence interval 0.55 to 0.92), indicating a 29% reduction in the risk of head injury. For participants who required evacuation by ambulance for head injuries, the adjusted odds ratio for helmet use was 0.44 (0.24 to 0.81). Similar results occurred with the case crossover design (odds ratio 0.43, 0.09 to 1.83). The adjusted odds ratio for helmet use for participants with any neck injury was 0.62 (0.33 to 1.19) and for participants who required evacuation by ambulance for neck injuries it was 1.29 (0.41 to 4.04). Conclusions Helmets protect skiers and snowboarders against head injuries. We cannot rule out the possibility of an increased risk of neck injury with helmet use, but the estimates on which this assumption is based are imprecise.
Document Type: Article de recherche
Issue Date: 10 February 2005
Open Access Date: 7 March 2018
Document version: VoR
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/17322
This document was published in: British medical journal, Vol. 330 (7486), 281–283 (2005)
British Medical Association
Alternative version: 10.1136/bmj.330.7487.345-c
Collection:Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

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