Researchers investigated whether kids with depression who play the contact sport are at a higher risk of suffering a concussion. Surprisingly, new research on the matter says yes, as children who have been previously diagnosed with depression have a “five-fold increased risk” of suffering concussions. The new study collected data on 863 youth football players (aged 5 to 14) in the Seattle area across two separate seasons. Interestingly, researchers found that 5.1% of those football players suffered concussions — a trend well above the 4.4% range tracked in previous studies. Also, only 16 of the 863 players had been diagnosed with depression (0.02%).
Still, while all signs point to a clear connection between concussions and depression, further research needs to be conducted before any definitive conclusions can be made on the subject. “To our knowledge, depression history has not been previously reported as a risk factor for concussions in a prospective manner,” the researchers wrote in their study.