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January 23, 1978

Medical News

JAMA. 1978;239(4):283-291. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280310015002

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Physicians find three new sports exhilarating, beautiful, risky  Probably there is no completely safe sport, and perhaps if there were it wouldn't be any fun. But some of the things we do for fun seem gratuitously dangerous. At the recent meeting of the American College of Surgeons in Dallas, some sports-minded physicians discussed the degree of risk in three sports of relatively recent vintage: scuba diving, snowmobiling, and hang gliding.In terms of number of participants, scuba diving is the most popular of these activities; there are about 4 million divers in the United States. About 100 of them die of injuries related to their sport each year. Michael B. Strauss, MD, assistant director of the baromedical department, Memorial Hospital Medical Center, Long Beach, Calif, said that the most serious problems encountered in diving are fortunately the least common. Most injuries are minor and are treated by the diver