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Medical News & Perspectives
October 27, 2010

Reports of Concussions From Youth Sports Rise Along With Awareness of the Problem

JAMA. 2010;304(16):1775-1776. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1487

A new study has documented a growing number of emergency department visits by children and adolescents with sports-related concussion, but it is unknown whether the increase reflects a true rise in the number of incidents or better reporting due to greater awareness.

The study, by researchers from Brown University in Providence, RI, found that from 1997 to 2007, US emergency department visits for concussions occurring in organized team sports had almost doubled (from 3946 to 7791) in children aged 8 to 13 years and more than tripled (from 7276 to 23 239) among youths aged 14 to 19 years (Bakhos LL et al. Pediatrics. 10.1542/peds.2009-3101 [published online August 30, 2010]. In addition, the researchers found that from 2001 to 2005, children and adolescents aged 8 to 19 years had an estimated 502 000 emergency department visits for concussion, with about 35% involving 8- to 13-year-olds and half of the total visits related to a sports incident.