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Sports Injuries Can Damage Kidneys, Study Finds

MONDAY, May 19, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A single blow to the belly or side while playing a sport can result in a significant kidney injury, a new study shows.

The researchers advised that doctors should consider the possibility of serious kidney injuries when evaluating patients with sports injuries.

"While it is common to suspect renal injury following a car accident, this type of injury isn't always obvious in patients with sports-related trauma," Dr. Jack McAninch, former president of the American Urological Association (AUA) and professor of urology at the University of California, San Francisco, said in an AUA news release.

"This study clearly shows that high-grade renal trauma can result if an individual receives a solitary blow to their abdomen or side when taking part in sports-related activities such as skiing, snowboarding or cycling," he said.

In conducting the study, researchers from the University of Utah and Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah, examined information on patients with kidney trauma treated between January 2005 and January 2011. They analyzed the patients' records and graded the severity of their injuries.

The researchers found that 30 percent of the injuries examined were sustained during a sporting event. They noted that these injuries involved men more often than women.

Severe sports-related injuries typically resulted from just one blow to the belly or the side, the study showed.

Certain sports accounted for most of these kidney injuries, including:

  • Cycling

  • Skiing

  • Snowboarding

The study was to be presented Monday at the American Urological Association's annual meeting in Orlando, Fla. Research presented at meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

More information

The Urology Care Foundation provides more information on kidney trauma.

SOURCE: American Urological Association, news release, May 19, 2014