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Journal Article


von Rosen P, Heijne A. Scand. J. Med. Sci. Sports 2018; 28(4): 1435-1442.


Karolinska Institutet, Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences, and Society (NVS) Division of Physiotherapy, Huddinge, Sweden.


(Copyright © 2018, John Wiley and Sons)






The relationship between injury and performance in young athletes is scarcely studied. The aim of this study was therefore to explore the association between injury prevalence and ranking position among adolescent elite athletes. 162 male and female adolescent elite athletes (age range 15-19), competing in athletics (n=59), cross-country skiing (n=66) and orienteering (n=37), were monitored weekly over 22-47 weeks using a web-based injury questionnaire. Ranking lists were collected. A significant (p=.003) difference was found in the seasonal substantial injury prevalence across the ranked athletes over the season, where the top-ranked (median 3.6%, 25-75th percentiles 0-14.3%) and middle-ranked athletes (median 2.3%, 25-75th percentiles 0-10.0%) had a lower substantial injury prevalence compared to the low-ranked athletes (median 11.3%, 25-75th percentiles 2.5-27.1%), during both pre-season (p=.002) and competitive season (p=.031). Athletes that improved their ranking position (51%, n=51) reported a lower substantial injury prevalence (median 0%, 25-75th percentiles 0-10.0%) compared to those that decreased (49%, n=49) their ranking position (md 6.7%, 25-75th percentiles 0-22.5%). In the top-ranked group, no athlete reported substantial injury more than40% of all data collection time points compared to 9.6% (n=5) in the middle-ranked and 17.3% (n=9) in the low-ranked group. Our results provide supporting evidence that substantial injuries, such as acute and overuse injuries leading to moderate or severe reductions in training or sports performance, influence ranking position in adolescent elite athletes. The findings are crucial to stakeholders involved in adolescent elite sports and support the value of designing effective preventive interventions for substantial injuries. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Language: en


adolescent elite athletes; injury burden; injury prevalence; injury severity; performance


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