Cycling is on the rise, but injuries may be, too


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Bicycle riding is increasingly popular, thanks to more environmentally conscious people, a desire to be fit, and wanting to save money on gas. The downside, however, is that cyclists may be suffering more injuries.

That’s the conclusion of researchers who looked at accident rates and severity from 1996 to 2006. Among 329 bicycle accident cases admitted to the Rocky Mountain Regional Trauma Center at Denver Health Medical Center, the length of stay increased substantially over those years. In addition, an increase was seen in chest injuries (up 15%), and abdominal injuries tripled over the last five years of the study. About one-third of 118 patients had head injuries.


In a Reuters story, lead researcher Dr. Jeffry Kashuk from the University of Colorado, Denver, said, ‘Although the public is very enthusiastic about bicycle use as a means of transportation, we think that infrastructure has lagged behind in the U.S. The government is pushing bike days, and rebates for bike use. Communities are putting in bicycle kiosks.’ He added that only limited data exist showing there are bikeways to support an increase in bike use.

The findings from the study were presented at the American College of Surgeons’ 95th annual Clinical Congress being held this week in Chicago.

-- Jeannine Stein