Better Diagnosis, Enhanced Sports Participation may be Contributing Factors

The incidence of concussion during adolescence may be more frequent than previously supposed, according to findings from new research from the University of California San Francisco Medical Center. An examination of more than 8.8 million health records from a national private payer insurance group found that 32% of patients diagnosed with concussion were between age 10 and 19, and that the increase in incidence of concussion between 2007 and 2014 was the greatest in this age category. Within the age group, the highest concentration of concussion diagnoses was found in the 15-19 year subset, with 10-14 placing second. The results were presented this week at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) annual meeting in Colorado Springs, CO.

There was a 60% increase in incidence of concussion noted during the study period (2007-2014), and the largest increases were noted in the 10-14 and 15-19 year age groups, at 143% and 87% respectively. Lead author Alan L. Zhang, MD, commented “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.” Read more about the study findings here.

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