Rise in injury rates for older male motorcyclists: An emerging medical and public health concern

Findings from research in the United States show an increase in injury and mortality rates among older male motorcycle riders. Because trends in ridership and injuries have not been well investigated in Canada, we undertook a study to determine the effect of the increasing age of male motorcycle riders on injury patterns in British Columbia.

To examine the relationship between rider age and injury patterns, we analyzed data from British Columbia’s motorcycle-related Discharge Abstract Database for 2001 to 2010.

We found the motorcycle-related hospitalization rate for males age 45 to 74 increased significantly from 18.4 to 36.0 per 100 000 population over the study period, and hospitalization costs rose by 61%. The rate for younger male riders and both younger and older female riders did not change significantly. Findings indicated longer hospital stays and different injury patterns for older male riders compared with younger male riders, and higher hospitalization rates for older male riders in less urban parts of BC.

Our findings suggest the need for an evidence-based injury prevention initiative targeting older male motorcycle riders. Such an initiative could include injury prevention counseling by health care providers and the development of other strategies to prevent motorcycle-related injuries among older male riders.

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