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Association Between Helmets and Facial Injury After a Motorcycle Collision:  An Analysis of More Than 40 000 Patients From the National Trauma Data Bank

Joseph G. Crompton, MD; Tolulope A. Oyetunji, MD, MPH; Keshia M. Pollack, PhD, MPH; Kent Stevens, MD, MPH; Edward E. Cornwell, MD; David T. Efron, MD; Elliott R. Haut, MD; Adil H. Haider, MD, MPH
Arch Surg. 2012;147(7):674-676. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2012.894.
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Motorcycle collisions are increasing at a precipitous rate, and reliable and valid data regarding all aspects of helmet safety are needed to better inform ongoing debates on mandatory helmet laws. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of motorcycle helmets on the likelihood of a facial injury after motorcycle collisions, using data from the National Trauma Data Bank, version 7.0, on 46 362 patients from January 1, 2002, through December 31, 2006. Multiple logistic regression was used to analyze the independent association between helmets and facial injury with adjustment for potential confounders. Helmeted motorcyclists were less likely to suffer facial injuries after a motorcycle collision, with a lower adjusted odds ratio of facial injury (0.40; 95% CI, 0.37-0.43) and a lower prevalence of specific types of facial injury compared with their nonhelmeted counterparts.

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Figure 1. Patient selection used in this analysis from the National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB).

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Figure 2. Regression analysis depicting the adjusted odds ratios of facial injury among 46 362 motorcyclists. Error bars indicate 95% CIs. The red line depicts the reference group, nonhelmeted riders.

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