J Korean Med Sci.  2019 Nov;34(44):e290. 10.3346/jkms.2019.34.e290.

Epidemiology and Outcomes of Sports-Related Traumatic Brain Injury in Children

  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Emergency Medicine, Seoul Metropolitan Government-Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center, Seoul, Korea. skciva@gmail.com
  • 3Laboratory of Emergency Medical Services, Seoul National University Hospital Biomedical Research Institute, Seoul, Korea.


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the leading causes of pediatric disability that results in many emergency department visits. The risk of TBI is high while playing sports. The aim of this study was to examine the demographics and clinical characteristics of sports-related TBI.
We performed a multicenter observational study using the Emergency Department-Based Injury In-Depth Surveillance database in Korea. Patients aged 5 to 18 years old, who sustained unintentional, sports-related head injuries between January 2011 and December 2016 were included. The type of sports was the main variable of interest, and it was classified into 6 categories. The primary outcome was TBI, and the secondary outcome was intracranial injury and hospital admission. A multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to calculate the adjusted odds ratios (aORs) with 95% confidence intervals for the outcomes by sports type.
Of the 1,537,617 injured patients, 10,717 (0.7%) patients were included in the study. Most of the patients were male (87.5%), and the most prevalent sports type was field sports (51.2%). The proportion of TBI, intracranial injury, and admission were 15.7%, 1.2%, and 3.5%, respectively. The aORs of TBI, intracranial injury, and admission in bicycle and street sports compared to field sports were 1.77 (1.37-2.28), 4.99 (2.62-9.50), and 2.27 (1.42-3.61) respectively.
This is the first nationwide epidemiologic study of pediatric sports-related TBI in Korea. The ratios of TBI, intracranial injury and admission were highest in bicycle and street sports. Prevention strategies for pediatric sports-related TBI can be developed according to sports types.


Traumatic Brain Injury; Sports; Children
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