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August 18, 1951


Author Affiliations

New York

From the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

JAMA. 1951;146(16):1506-1511. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670160048012

The recent deaths of two professional boxers from injuries sustained in boxing bouts stimulated a survey of similar fatalities in this sport and in other athletic competitions. The purpose of the survey was to determine the type and frequency of the injuries and to correlate them with the particular kind of athletic activity. Accordingly, these deaths may best be considered under the following classifications: (1) sports characterized by body contact—football, wrestling, boxing, hockey and basketball; (2) sports in which missiles are thrown by the hand, driven by a bat or club or shot from weapons —baseball, cricket, golf, hockey and archery;1 (3) sports in which falls or other miscellaneous accidents may occur—horse racing, polo, handball, basketball, and track and field events; (4) aquatic competition;2 (5) sudden and unexpected natural deaths from existing acute, subacute or chronic disease precipitated by excitement, overexertion, exhaustion, or a combination of these factors.