Bicycle helmets work when it matters the most

Bellal A Joseph, Asad Azim, Ansab A. Haider, Narong Kulvatunyou, Terence S Okeeffe, Ahmed Hassan, Lynn Gries, Emily Tran, Rifat - Latifi, Peter M Rhee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Background Helmets are known to reduce the incidence of traumatic brain injury (TBI) after bicycle-related accidents. The aim of this study was to assess the association of helmets with severity of TBI and facial fractures after bicycle-related accidents. Methods We performed an analysis of the 2012 National Trauma Data Bank abstracted information of all patients with an intracranial hemorrhage after bicycle-related accidents. Regression analysis was also performed. Results A total of 6,267 patients were included. About 25.1% (n = 1,573) of bicycle riders were helmeted. Overall, 52.4% (n = 3,284) of the patients had severe TBI, and the mortality rate was 2.8% (n = 176). Helmeted bicycle riders had 51% reduced odds of severe TBI (odds ratio [OR].49, 95% confidence interval [CI].43 to.55, P <.001) and 44% reduced odds of mortality (OR.56, 95% CI.34 to.78, P =.010). Helmet use also reduced the odds of facial fractures by 31% (OR.69, 95% CI.58 to.81, P <.001). Conclusion Bicycle helmet use provides protection against severe TBI, reduces facial fractures, and saves lives even after sustaining an intracranial hemorrhage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-417
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Bicycle
  • Facial fracture
  • Head injury
  • Helmets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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