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One in 5 students in Grades 7-12 say they have had a traumatic brain injury in their lifetime
Date:6/25/2013

TORONTO, June 25, 2013One in five adolescents surveyed in Ontario said they have suffered a traumatic brain injury that left them unconscious for five minutes or required them to be hospitalized overnight, a statistic researchers in Toronto say is much higher than previously thought.

Sports such as ice hockey and soccer accounted for more than half the injuries, said Dr. Gabriela Ilie, lead author of the study and a post-doctoral fellow at St. Michael's Hospital.

Traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions, were reported more often by males than females, by those with lower school grades and by those who used alcohol or cannabis in the previous 12 months, she said.

The study was to be published Wednesday (June 26) in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Dr. Ilie said this is one of the first studies of traumatic brain injury to focus only on adolescents and to include all of their self-reported TBIs. Most previous studies based their reporting only on hospital records. Concussion is the most common form of traumatic brain injury. The data used in the study were from the 2011 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS) developed by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

The survey, one of the longest ongoing school surveys in the world, contains responses from almost 9,000 students from Grades 7-12 in publicly funded schools across Ontario. The OSDUHS began as a drug use survey, but is now a broader study of adolescent health and well-being. For the first time in 2011, questions about traumatic brain injury were added to the survey.

"The questions about TBI were added to the OSDUHS because there were no current data on prevalence in the adolescent population," said Dr. Robert Mann, a senior scientist at CAMH and director of the OSDUHS. "Early research has indicated that there may be links between TBIs and mental health and substance use during adolescence we plan to study this in the near future."

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Contact: Leslie Shepherd
shepherdl@smh.ca
416-864-6094
St. Michael's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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