gms | German Medical Science

57th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery
Joint Meeting with the Japanese Neurosurgical Society

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

11 - 14 May, Essen

Does a helmet or a knit cap protect against severe head injury during snowboarding? Prospective analysis of consecutive 1,190 snowboarding patients

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author O. Fukuda - Department of Neurosurgery, Saito Memorial Hospital, Japan
  • S. Endo - Department of Neurosurgery, Toyama University, Japan

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Japanische Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 57. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie e.V. (DGNC), Joint Meeting mit der Japanischen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Essen, 11.-14.05.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocSO.04.05

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: May 8, 2006

© 2006 Fukuda et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: The usefulness of helmets in protecting against severe head injuries is still controversial in snowboarding. In the present study, we prospectively evaluated that a helmet or a knit cap is effective in preventing severe head injuries.

Methods: This prospective study was conducted by collecting questionnaire data from 1,190 consecutive patients in a hospital during the 1999/00 - 2002/03 winter seasons at Uonuma ski resort, Niigata, Japan.

Results: After adjustment for other confounders, there was a significant negative association between the occurrence of severe head injury during snowboarding and female gender (adjusted OR; 0.55, 95%CI; 0.421-0.718, p<0.0001) and a significant positive association between severe head injury and jumping (adjusted OR; 2.25, 95%CI; 1.48-3.43, p=0.0001). Furthermore, among snowboarding maneuvers, only for jumping was there a significant negative association between the wearing of a helmet or knit cap and the occurrence of severe head injury (p=0.036). Helmet wearing was positively associated with severe head injury in overall injury mechanism (adjusted OR; 2.29, 95%CI; 1.12-4.72, p=0.020).

Conclusions: Wearing of a helmet or knit cap protected against severe head injuries on jumping. However, use of a helmet during snowboarding was associated with increased incidence of severe head injuries. We speculate it may be due in part to the fact that snowboarders, who wear helmets attempt dangerous maneuvers causing injuries.