By: 1 August 2016
Concussion rates are rising sharply among US youth

Concussion rates are on the rise among US children and teens, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, held in July.

Alan Zhang, of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues used records from more than 8.8 million people in one large health insurance plan. The investigators found that 43,884 were diagnosed with a concussion between 2007 and 2014.

Overall, 10- to 19-year-olds accounted for one-third of those diagnoses. Older teens sustained concussions at a rate of 16.5 for every 1000 patients; that figure was 10.5 per 1000 among 10- to 14-year-olds. Children in those age groups also showed the biggest increase in concussion diagnoses over time. While the rate rose 160 per cent across all age groups, it rose 243 per cent among 10- to 14-year-olds, and 187 per cent among older teenagers.

“The rates at which concussions are rising may in part be due to the rise in youth sports participation and also better diagnostic skills/training for coaches and sports medicine professionals,” Zhang said in a news release from the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. “This trend is alarming, however, and the youth population should definitely be prioritised for ongoing work in concussion diagnosis, education, treatment, and prevention.”

Source: Neurology Advisor

Reference: Zhang AL, Sing DC, Rugg CM, Feeley BT, Senter C. Abstract 150. The Rise of Concussionsin the Adolescent Population. Presented at: American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Annual Meeting. July 7-10, 2016; Colorado Springs, Colo.