February 19, 1973

Skiing Injuries

Author Affiliations

Williamstown, Mass

JAMA. 1973;223(8):917-919. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220080047014

Precisely one decade ago my associates and I wrote in Public Health Reports, "Skiing is one of the most rapidly growing participant sports in the world, and the rising numbers of injured skiers has become a concern both to the medical profession and to the skiing industry itself."1 Unfortunately, little has changed.

Growth has slowed a bit, but even the present rate added far more skiers to the ranks in 1971-1972 than in 1961-1962. Similarly, we can theorize an injury rate of 0.45% this season, and although this is an improvement over the 0.59% of 1961-1962, there is little to rejoice about. The population at risk has roughly doubled—from 2.5 million to 5 million skiers—and the number injured has increased —from approximately 150,000 to 225,000 a year.

The only significant change may be in the degree of current "concern" evidenced by the profession, and particularly the industry, toward the