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Epidemiology of Dance-Related Injuries Presenting to Emergency Departments in the United States, 2000-2013

Amy Jo Vassallo, Claire Hiller, Emmanuel Stamatakis, Evangelos Pappas
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 32 Number 3: Page 170 (September 2017)

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Abstract: Dance is a popular activity associated with many physical and mental health benefits, but injuries are a concern for all skill levels. Previous studies have focused on professional dancers or particular genres, meaning the population-wide characteristics of injuries is unknown. This study's objective was to identify the incidence and types of dance-related injuries evaluated in emergency departments in the United States over the 14-year period 2000-2013. METHODS: Data were obtained from the nationally representative National Electronic Injury Surveillance System from 2000-2013. National estimates of injuries were determined using complex sample design. Trends using 2-year intervals were calculated using linear regression and injury proportion ratios using Pearson's X2. RESULTS: The average annual incidence of dance-related injuries requiring emergency medical attention was 17,145 per year. The number of injuries grew from 14,204 in 2000/1 to 21,356 in 2012/3, a change of 33.4% after accounting for population growth. Lower limb injuries were most common, particularly ankle and knee sprains. Females presented with a greater proportion of ankle (injury proportion ratio [IPR]=1.34, p=0.029) and foot sprains (IPR=2.11, p<0.001) but a lower proportion of shoulder sprains (IPR=0.41, p<0.001) and face lacerations (IPR=0.13, p<0.001). Younger dancers presented with a lower proportion of knee (IPR=0.79, p=0.006) and low back sprains (IPR=0.68, p=0.019). CONCLUSIONS: The average annual incidence of dance-related injuries of a serious enough nature to require presentation to the emergency department in the United States was 17,145 per year, with ankle and knee sprains being the most common. Injury numbers have increased in recent years.

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