Sport injury prevalence and risk by level of play and sports played among a representative population of French adolescents. A school-based study

  • Luiggi Maxime
  • Griffet Jean

  • Adolescent health
  • Sports
  • Sports injury
  • Athletic injuries


Methods: Data collection was conducted in French schools among adolescents in 2015 and 2017 (n = 1849; aged 14–19). Only sports players were included (n = 1366). Two level of play were created. The low-level group included adolescents playing sport either outside or within a club, at the local level of competition or below. The high-level group included adolescents playing sport within a club at the state (regional) level of competition or higher. Odds-ratios and their 95% confidence intervals adjusted for variables selected using stepwise regression procedures were calculated to determine the injury risk of high-level athletes compared with those at low-level, in each sport. We also calculated the injury risk of each sport compared to all the other sports, by level of play. Results: In almost all sports activities, the prevalence of injured athletes was higher in the high-level of play than in the low-level of play. The increase in injury risk was the highest in tennis, basketball, dance, athletics and volleyball. When comparing sports, at the lowest level, handball, boxing, soccer and gymnastics practitioners were more at risk than the rest of the sample. At the highest level of play, only basketball players were more at-risk. Dancing is the less dangerous sport in terms of injury outcome, regardless the level. Conclusion: From the state level of competition, injury risk increases significantly across most of the sports. Meanwhile, differences appeared regarding the prevalence, severity and nature of the sustained injuries. It would be useful to perform such analysis on a greater sample size, ideally representative of the national population of adolescents.