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Football Sees Most Concussions Across HS Sports

Andy Berg

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics surveyed concussion incidence in 20 high school sports and found that football sees the most.

The study analyzes data from high school athletic trainers who provided injury information and athlete exposure numbers to the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study.

Concussion rates were based on a total of 10,000 athlete exposures. Injury rate ratios and injury proportion ratios examined sex differences in sex-comparable sports, including soccer, basketball, baseball and softball, cross country, track, and swimming.

This study looks at how concussion rates changed over a period from the 2013–2014 to 2017–2018 school years.

Overall, 9542 concussions were reported for an overall rate of 4.17 per 10,000 athlete exposures. Football had the highest concussion rate of 10.40 per 10,000 exposures. Across the study period, football competition-related concussion rates increased from 33.19 to 39.07 per 10,000 exposures, while practice-related concussion rates decreased from 5.47 to 4.44 per 10,000 exposures.

In all sports, recurrent concussion rates decreased from 0.47 to 0.28 per 10,000 exposures.

Among sex-comparable sports, concussion rates were higher in girls than in boys (3.35 vs 1.51 per 10,000 AEs).

The study concludes that changes in concussion rates may be associated with changes in concussion incidence, diagnosis, and management. The authors suggest that future research should continue to monitor trends and examine the effect of prevention strategies.

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