ObjectivesTo investigate the association of maturity status with injury incidence in Middle-Eastern youth athletes.
DesignProspective cohort study.
SettingFour consecutive seasons (2010-2014), Aspire Academy, Qatar.
ParticipantsMale athletes (age range: 11-18 years) representing four disciplines enrolled and grouped into two categories: individual sports and racquet sports.
Outcome measuresInjury data collected over four seasons. Athletes' anthropometric characteristics assessed to calculate age at peak height velocity. Predicted mature heights (PMHs) collected and categorised into four quartiles. Athletes had wrist and hand radiographs for assessment of skeletal age (SA). Early and late maturers with an SA of >1?year older or younger than their chronological age (CA).
ResultsFor the sample (n=67) across all groups, 43 (64%) athletes had one or more injuries: total of 212 injuries, 4.9 injuries per athlete across study. Survival analysis of maturity status using SA found early maturing athletes had two-fold greater injury risk compared with late maturers (HR 2.04, 95%?CI 1.15 to 3.61, p=0.015). PMH associated with injury risk (HR 1.05, 95%?CI 1.01 to 1.08, p=0.006).Athletes in fourth quartile (?184?cm) had up to two-fold injury risk (HR 2.41, 95%?CI 1.42 to 4.08, p=0.001). Racquet and individual sports involved similar injury risk (HR 1.14, 95%?CI 0.86 to 1.52, p=0.37).
ConclusionSA early maturity and PMH gradient were significant predictors of injury in youths.
SUBMITTER: Rejeb A