Essay on Epidemiology: Sport-Related Concussions

Essay on Epidemiology: Sport-Related Concussions

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Sport-related concussions are evolving as a major public health concern. Ongoing research suggests these injuries have a much more serious and prolonged impact on overall health than previously believed. According the Centers for Disease Control, a concussion can be defined as “a type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head” (CDC, 2013).
Crushing and violent hits are seen as part of the game in many sports, and are often glorified by the media in the professional realm. However, many overlook the fact that the vast majority of individuals who play contact sports in this country are under the age of 19 (Buzzini & Guskiewicz, 2006). Research has shown age-related considerations should influence clinical aspects of concussion diagnosis, management, and treatment (Meehan et al, 2011). This paper will focus on the epidemiology of concussions in American high-school athletes.
Epidemiological Data
Every year approximately 1.7 million TBIs are reported, and an estimated 75% of these injuries come from concussions and other forms of mild TBI (CDC, 2013). There is currently limited data present on the incidence of this emerging public health concern, primarily because these figures “vastly underestimate total TBI burden, because many individuals suffering from mild or moderate TBI do not seek medical advice” (Daneshvar et al, 2011). Over the past decade participation in organized sports by children, adolescents, and adults have greatly increased. It is estimated that nearly 44 million children and adolescents participate in athletics. This increase in overall participation is “associated with an increased risk of traumatic brain injury” (Daneshvar et al, 2011).
Data collected by the Electronic Injur...

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...e Epidemiology of Sport-Related Concussion. Clin Sports Med, 30, 1-17.
Massachusetts Health and Human Services. (2014). Sports Related Concussions and Head Injuries. Retrieved February 16, 2014, from
Meehan, W., d'Hemecourt, P., Collins, C., & Comstock, D. (2011). Assessment and Management of Sport-Related Concussions in United States High School. American Journal of Sports Medicine, 39(11), 1-14.
Terrell, T., Nobles, T., Rader, B., Bielak, K., Asif, I., Casmus, R., et al. (2014). Sports Concussion Management: Part 1. Southern Medical Journal, 107(2), 115-125.
USA Football. (2013). State Concussion Law. Retrieved February 16, 2014, from

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