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Old 08-25-08, 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
'Got any stats or sources to back this up? I'm rather skeptical of what you write here. Here is a study I have not posted before:

1: Am J Public Health. 1997 Jun;87(6):1049-52.Click here to read Click here to read Links
Injuries to bicyclists in Wuhan, People's Republic of China.
Li G, Baker SP.

Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md. 21287, USA.

OBJECTIVES: This study examined the morbidity and mortality from bicycling injuries in Wuhan, China. METHODS: <snip>The death rate from bicycling injuries was estimated as 2.2 per 100000 population, more than seven times the rate for the United States. <snip> None of the patients was wearing a helmet at the time of injury, and helmet use among the general bicyclist population was nonexistent. CONCLUSIONS: Bicycle-related head injury is an important public health issue in China. The effectiveness of safety helmets in developing countries needs to be evaluated.

PMID: 9224197 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Do you have the whole study, John? I would be interested to know if it controls for exposure. If it does not (and I've yet to see one of these types of study that does...!), and if it turns out that the average Chinese rides more than seven times the number of miles per year than the average American (which I suspect may be true), then we could conclude that helmets are leading to more fatalities in the US (where helmet wearing is at quite a high level), whereas China really has very little problem, despite its population not wearing them.

Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
Helmets don't come with assigned protection factors (that may be a nice idea though). So you need to make a choice about what type of protection is warranted for a particular activity. <snip>

Just because there are choices to be made with what PPE to use for a particular situation doesn't mean that a choice of no PPE is warranted, based upon the risk.

True, but just because PPE exists doesn't mean that a choice of no PPE is unwarranted either.

I like the idea of assigning protection factors to helmets, BTW. I suspect helmet manufacturers wouldn't like it much though, as it might expose how lax the standards for cycle helmets really are.
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