In a study published in the September 26 issue of JAMA, investigators analyzed data on 13,088 adolescents aged 12 to 18 years and found that an estimated 19.5% of students reported at least one diagnosed concussion, with 14.0% reporting one concussion and 5.5% reporting more than one concussions. About 22% of adolescents reporting a diagnosed concussion played a contact sport, such as football, ice hockey, or lacrosse, in the past 12 months, and 29% participated in a semi-contact sport, such as baseball, basketball, field hockey, or soccer. A limitation of the study is the self-report measure of concussion.
Until now, little was known about the prevalence and factors associated with concussions among US adolescents. “Providing a national baseline of concussion prevalence and correlates is necessary to target and monitor prevention efforts to reduce these types of injuries during this important developmental period,” the investigators write.