Rugby league injuries in New Zealand: Variations in injury claims and costs by ethnicity, gender, age, district, body site, injury type and occupation
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This paper provides an overview of the epidemiology of New Zealand rugby league injuries requiring medical treatment and associated costs analysed by ethnic groups.Method: New Zealand national Accident Compensation Corporation injury data for the period 1999 to 2007 were searched for rugby league injury cases. Data were analysed by ethnic groups for demographics, body region, nature/severity of injury, and medical procedure and costs. Results: New Zealand Maori accounted for 39.8% of the number of total injury claims and 43.5% of the total injury entitlement costs but were recorded as only 13.2% of the total New Zealand population. Accounting for only 3.2% of the population distribution living in Auckland, New Zealand Maori recorded 11.7% of the total injury claims in the Auckland district. Soft tissue injuries accounted for 10.6% (Ḯ5%) of injury claims and 7.9% (ᶮ7%) of injury entitlement costs for all ethnic groups. New Zealand Maori recorded more injury claims for the knee than all other ethnic groups. Injury claims for New Zealand Europeans recorded more trade occupations, New Zealand Maori more plant and machinery occupations and Pacific peoples more elementary occupations. New Zealand Maori recorded significantly more injury claims for both males and females than all other ethnic groups over the study period. Conclusions: This study identified the number of injury claims, and associated costs of the injuries, by ethnic group that have occurred from participation in rugby league activities in New Zealand over an eight year period. NZ Maori are disproportionately participating in rugby league in NZ, but the proportions injured are consistent with reported proportions playing the game. Further research is warranted to fully explore the differences in injury rate between the ethnic groups and to what extent these differences in levels of participation in rugby league activities.
New Zealand Journal of Sports Medicine
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