Over 15% of all high school students say they have had a concussion
In the past year, more than 15% of all high schoolers have experienced at least one concussion, according to a new CDC report highlighting the prevalence of brain injuries in school-aged children with developing brains.
The data was collected from nearly 15,000 students in grades 9 through 12, making it one of the larger assessments of concussion rates.
Additionally, 6% of students “reported two or more concussions” within the past 12 months, and 2% said they had experienced four or more head injuries, according to the report from the CDC’s Lara DePadilla and colleagues.
While these findings, published in the CDC journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, emphasize the need for concussion intervention strategies to identify and treat injured students, the report also indicates there is a far trickier problem keeping many with concussions from being identified; students often do not report their own symptoms.
In another study cited by the researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40% of high school students who believed they had experienced a concussion said that “their coach was unaware of their symptoms.”
“Students might not always recognize or remember that they have experienced a concussion, or they might not want to report having experienced a concussion,” DePadilla and co-authors noted. “In this study, the opportunity to anonymously self-report a concussion, without negative consequences such as a loss of playing time, might have aided in including concussions missed by other data sources.”
The study included a few interesting notes, including the finding that boys were more prone to concussions compared to girls in this report. Injuries were also, unsurprisingly, highly linked to team sports.
As the researchers observed, “the odds of reporting a concussion increased significantly with the number of sports teams on which students played.”