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Parents, beware: Concussion is more common in teens than believed

Concussion or head injury is on the rise among teenagers, finds a new study.

health and fitness Updated: Jul 11, 2016 14:59 IST
Concussion,Brain Injury,Teen Problems
Concussion is the most common among teens in the 15-19 age group, claims a new study. (Shutterstock)

Concussion or head injury is on the rise among teenagers, finds a new study.

Lead author Alan L Zhang from the University of California San Francisco Medical Center said, “Our team looked at the administrative health records of more than 8.8 million members of a large private payer insurance group and noted that 32% of the individuals diagnosed with concussion were between the ages of 10-19 years old with the largest increase in incidence between 2007 and 2014 in that age group. This is the first study to evaluate trends in concussion diagnoses across the general US population in a variety of age groups.”

The highest incidence of concussion was seen in the 15-19 age group (16.5 cases per 1,000 patients) followed by the 10-14 (10.5 per 1,000), 20-24 (5.2 per 1,000) and 5-9 (3.5 per 1,000) age groups. Overall, there was a 60 percent increase in concussion incidence from 2007-2014. The largest increases were in the 10-14 (143%) and 15-19 (87%) age groups.

Read: Had a head injury? Here’s why you should rest for more than a day

Read: Don’t be dismissive of your kids’ play injuries, they may prove fatal

Fifty-six percent of concussions were diagnosed in the emergency room and 29% in a physician’s office with the remainder being seen in urgent care or inpatient settings.

Zhang and his team also noted that irrespective of sport, the incidence of concussion in male patients was one and a half times higher than that in female patients.

“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. This trend is alarming however, and the youth population should definitely be prioritized for ongoing work in concussion diagnosis, education, treatment and prevention,” said Zhang.

The study appears in American Journal of Sports Medicine.

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First Published: Jul 11, 2016 14:58 IST