In the Journals

Only one in five adult cyclists in accidents wear helmets

Photo of Shahrzad Bazargan-Hejazi
Shahrzad Bazargan-Hejazi

Just 22% of adults involved in bicycle accidents were wearing helmets, according to study results published in Brain Injury.

Shahrzad Bazargan-Hejazi, PhD, professor in the department of psychiatry and chair of medical student research in the College of Medicine at Charles Drew University School of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, told Healio Primary Care that physicians can use incidents of head injury or trauma as an opportunity to educate patients about the benefits of using safety helmets.

“Since primary care physician provides continuity of care, they have the advantage of knowing their patients and their lifestyle,” she said. “Therefore, they have an essential role in informing patients of the protective function of helmets and injury risks of not using it, to motivate a healthy lifestyle.”

Bazargan-Hejazi and colleagues reviewed data from the National Trauma Data Bank, consisting of patient records from more than 900 trauma centers in the United States.

Just 22% of adults involved in bicycle accidents were wearing helmets, according to study results published in Brain Injury.

A total of 76,032 patients admitted for bicycle-related injuries who had a head or neck injury were included in the study. Of those, only 22% of adults wore helmets at the time of their accident.

Within the study population, helmet use was more common among females (28.3%) than males (20.6%).

Patients aged 40 years and older had the highest prevalence of helmet use (31.8%) and children aged younger than 17 years had the lowest prevalence of helmet use (12.1%).

In their study, Bazargan-Hejazi Helmet use was highest among white (27.3%) and Asian/Pacific Islander (26.6%) patients and lowest among black (6%) and Hispanic (7.6%) patients.

Compared with females injured in bicycle accidents, males had higher injury severity scores, stayed longer in the hospital and spent more time in intensive care. In addition, males who had a head or neck injury were 36% more likely than females to die of their injury.

Researchers found that compared with white patients, death from head or neck injury was 17% more common in Hispanic patients and 19% more common in black patients.

Previous studies have also found that helmet use is lacking in the United States — one showed that nearly one in five children never wears one while bike riding, and another found that helmets were not used in almost all electric scooter accidents.

Bazargan-Hejazi noted that efforts such as peer education and mass media campaigns that enhance public awareness of cycling-related road injuries would help ensure more adults use helmets. She also suggested that subsidizing safety helmets for lower socioeconomic populations would help those who might be aware of the benefits of helmet use but cannot afford them. – by Erin Michael

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.

Photo of Shahrzad Bazargan-Hejazi
Shahrzad Bazargan-Hejazi

Just 22% of adults involved in bicycle accidents were wearing helmets, according to study results published in Brain Injury.

Shahrzad Bazargan-Hejazi, PhD, professor in the department of psychiatry and chair of medical student research in the College of Medicine at Charles Drew University School of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, told Healio Primary Care that physicians can use incidents of head injury or trauma as an opportunity to educate patients about the benefits of using safety helmets.

“Since primary care physician provides continuity of care, they have the advantage of knowing their patients and their lifestyle,” she said. “Therefore, they have an essential role in informing patients of the protective function of helmets and injury risks of not using it, to motivate a healthy lifestyle.”

Bazargan-Hejazi and colleagues reviewed data from the National Trauma Data Bank, consisting of patient records from more than 900 trauma centers in the United States.

Just 22% of adults involved in bicycle accidents were wearing helmets, according to study results published in Brain Injury.

A total of 76,032 patients admitted for bicycle-related injuries who had a head or neck injury were included in the study. Of those, only 22% of adults wore helmets at the time of their accident.

Within the study population, helmet use was more common among females (28.3%) than males (20.6%).

Patients aged 40 years and older had the highest prevalence of helmet use (31.8%) and children aged younger than 17 years had the lowest prevalence of helmet use (12.1%).

In their study, Bazargan-Hejazi Helmet use was highest among white (27.3%) and Asian/Pacific Islander (26.6%) patients and lowest among black (6%) and Hispanic (7.6%) patients.

Compared with females injured in bicycle accidents, males had higher injury severity scores, stayed longer in the hospital and spent more time in intensive care. In addition, males who had a head or neck injury were 36% more likely than females to die of their injury.

Researchers found that compared with white patients, death from head or neck injury was 17% more common in Hispanic patients and 19% more common in black patients.

Previous studies have also found that helmet use is lacking in the United States — one showed that nearly one in five children never wears one while bike riding, and another found that helmets were not used in almost all electric scooter accidents.

Bazargan-Hejazi noted that efforts such as peer education and mass media campaigns that enhance public awareness of cycling-related road injuries would help ensure more adults use helmets. She also suggested that subsidizing safety helmets for lower socioeconomic populations would help those who might be aware of the benefits of helmet use but cannot afford them. – by Erin Michael

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.