Epidemiology of competition injuries in youth karate athletes: a prospective cohort study

Dušana Čierna, Reidar P. Lystad

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To determine the injury incidence rate and injury pattern among youth karate athletes competing in national tournaments in Slovakia, and to identify risk factors for injury.

Methods: Data were collected at nine national youth karate tournaments in Slovakia in 2015 and 2016. Injury incidence rates were calculated per 1000 athlete-exposures (IIRAE) and per 1000 min of exposure (IIRME) with 95% CIs. Subgroups were compared by calculating their rate ratios (RR) with 95% CIs.

Results: The overall IIRAE and IIRME were 45.3 (95% CI 38.7 to 52.6) and 35.9 (95% CI 30.7 to 41.7), respectively. The most frequently injured anatomical region was the head/neck (57%), while the most common type of injury was contusion (85%). The risk of injury for the 12-17-year-old age group was almost twice that of the 6-12-year-old age group, after accounting for exposure time (RRME 1.92 (95% CI 1.39 to 2.65)), and the difference was more pronounced for girls than boys (RRME 2.47 (95% CI 1.52 to 4.00) vs RRME 1.62 (95% CI 1.06 to 2.49), respectively).

Conclusions: Youth karate has a relatively large proportion of head injuries. Adolescent and female youth karate athletes are at higher risk of injury compared with their child and male counterparts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1285-1288
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017


  • athletic injuries
  • combat sport
  • incidence
  • karate
  • risk factors


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