A Comparison between Australian Football League (AFL) Injuries in Australian Indigenous versus Non-indigenous Players
Received: 31 August 2013 / Revised: 10 September 2013 / Accepted: 11 September 2013 / Published: 16 September 2013
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It has previously been shown that being of aboriginal descent is a risk factor for hamstring injuries in Australian football. The aim of this study was to review the Australian Football League (AFL) injury database to determine whether there were any injuries where
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It has previously been shown that being of aboriginal descent is a risk factor for hamstring injuries in Australian football. The aim of this study was to review the Australian Football League (AFL) injury database to determine whether there were any injuries where indigenous players had different relative risks to non-indigenous players. Analysis was conducted using data from the AFL injury database, which included data from 4,492 players over 21 years (1992–2012), covering 162,683 player-matches at AFL level, 91,098 matches at lower levels and 328,181 weeks (possible matches) of exposure. Compared to non-indigenous players, indigenous players had a significantly higher risk of hamstring injuries (RR 1.52, 95% CI 1.32–1.73) and calf strains (RR 1.30, 95% CI 1.00–1.69). Conversely, indigenous players had a significantly lower risk of lumbar/thoracic spine injuries (RR 0.61, 95% CI 0.41–0.91), groin strains/osteitis pubis (RR 0.75, 95% CI 0.58–0.96) and Achilles tendon injuries (RR 0.32, 95% CI 0.12–0.86). The results for the above injuries were also significant in terms of games missed. There was no difference between overall risk of injury (RR 1.03, 95% CI 0.96–1.10) or missed games (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.97–1.04). This suggests that indigenous AFL players have the same overall number of injuries and missed games, but a slightly different injury profile.