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Concussion Rate in Young Hockey Players Higher Than Thought
Date:11/3/2010

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The rate of concussions among teen and young adult hockey players is more than three times higher than previously believed, and the issue needs to be taken more seriously by players, parents, coaches and doctors, researchers warn.

The study of 67 male ice-hockey players, aged 16 to 21, on two fourth-tier teams was conducted during the 2009-2010 hockey season. During 52 games, 17 players suffered a total of 21 concussions.

The Canadian researchers calculated that the incidence of concussions was 21.5 per 1,000 athlete exposures, which is 3.3 times higher than reported in previous studies.

Among the other findings:

  • Five of the 17 players (29 percent) with a diagnosed concussion suffered a second or recurrent concussion during the study period.
  • Fifteen of those 17 players (88 percent) said they had suffered at least one previous concussion.
  • Two of the players who suffered a concussion during the study period admitted that they had concealed a concussion sustained during that season in order to keep playing.
  • Of the 21 diagnosed concussions in the study, 71 percent were suffered by forwards and 29 percent by defensemen. There were no concussions among goalies.
  • Fifty-seven percent of the concussions occurred in the third period, 29 percent in the second period, and 14 percent in the first period.
  • Twenty-four percent of the concussions occurred in players who were personally involved in a fight right before their diagnosis.
  • On average, it took 12.8 days for 15 of the players diagnosed with concussion to return to play.
  • Players assigned to a concussion education group showed improved knowledge about the issue.

The findings are published in the November issue of Neurosurgical Focus.

"The aftermath of a concussion can impact memory, judgment, social conduct, reflexes, speech, balance
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