Ankle Sprain Incidence Varies Demographically

Differences noted by race, age, gender, and athletics

MONDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- About half of all ankle sprains occur during participation in athletics, and teens have more than a three-fold higher incidence of these injuries than the general population, according to research published in the Oct. 6 issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Brian R. Waterman, M.D., of the William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, and colleagues conducted a study of ankle sprains in the general population using an epidemiological database.

The overall incidence rate of ankle sprains in the United States was estimated to be 2.15 per 1,000 person-years, but was significantly higher in the subgroup of 15 to 19 year olds who had an incidence rate of 7.2 per 1,000 person-years. Males aged 15 to 24 had a higher incidence rate than females of that age, while females over 30 had a higher incidence rate than same age-group males. The researchers found that Hispanics had lower rates of ankle sprains than whites and blacks, and nearly half of all sprains occurred during athletic activities.

"Approximately half of all ankle sprains occurred with athletic activity, and basketball (41.1 percent), football (9.3 percent), and soccer (7.9 percent) accounted for over half of all ankle sprains during athletic activity," the authors write.

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