Online Program

Epidemiology of Muay Thai Fight-Related Injuries

Monday, November 2, 2015

Stephen Strotmeyer Jr., PhD, MPH, UCSUR, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Anthony Fabio, MPH, PhD, Graduate School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Thomas Songer, PhD, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Maria Brooks, PhD, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Jeffrey H. Coben, MD, Injury Control Research Center, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Combat sports, such as MMA, UFC, and MuayThai, have gathered increasing attention.  Their appeal lies in the sport’s intent to cause physical harm. Currently, little is known about the injuries and risk factors for injuries among MuayThai fighters.

The following research surveyed 195 MuayThai fighters. Participants were recruited from major fight sites in the Northeast of the US, and asked to complete a web survey regarding training practices, use of protective equipment, and fight-related injuries. Regression analyses were conducted to determine whether injuries during sanctioned fights were related to additional factors such as fight experience, use of protection and injury history.

Participants were aged 18 to 47 years old (median 26); predominantly male (85.9%); and white (72.3%). Respondents were professional (n=96, 49.2%) and amateur (n=99, 50.8%) Fighters reported a range of fight experience from 1-111 total fights, with a mean of 15.83. Of the 195 respondents, 108 (55.4%) reported sustaining an injury during the most recent fight. The primary body region injured were extremities (58%), and not concussion (5.4%).  Nearly 2/3 (66.7%) of all injured fighters reported that the injury did not interfere with the bout outcome. Nearly 25% reported they missed no training time as a result of the injury. Injuries were related to fighter status, weight, age, equipment and previous injury.  Lighter, younger, and more experienced fighters were at increased odds for injury within this sample.

We identified several associations that require more rigorous research into causality in order to prevent and reduce injury outcomes among fighters.

Learning Areas:


Learning Objectives:
Describe the frequency, nature and severity of Muay Thai fight-related injuries and to explore underlying demographic factors associated with the injury outcomes.

Keyword(s): Epidemiology, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator on this project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.