(HealthDay News) — Injuries among older bicyclists have increased dramatically in recent years, according to a research letter published in the September 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Benjamin Breyer, MD, an associate professor of urology at the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues used data from the U.S. National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, a national sample of some 100 emergency departments that gather injury data. The number of bicycle-related injuries in those ≥18 was recorded every two years.

Between 1998–2013, bike injuries among all adults over the age of 18 increased 28%, while hospital admissions rose 120%. Head trauma rates climbed from being 10% to being 16% of all injuries in the same period, the researchers found. Injuries among those over the age of 45 increased 81% during the study period, from 23 to 42% of total injuries. In addition, hospital admissions increased 66%, from 39 to 65% of total injuries.

“As cyclists in the U.S. shift to an older demographic, greater attention is needed in injury prevention measures through improved infrastructure, such as bike lanes, use of personal protective equipment, such as helmets, as well as improved rider and motorist education,” Breyer told HealthDay.

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