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Surge Seen in Concussions Among College Football Players
Date:7/12/2012

By Denise Mann
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 12 (HealthDay News) -- Concussions among football players at three U.S. service academies have increased since 2009, according to a new study.

The increase comes after a 2010 National Collegiate Athletic Association concussion-management initiative that required athletic programs to report concussion signs and symptoms, and then take players who exhibited the symptoms out of the game.

Study authors led by Dr. Kelly Kilcoyne, of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, analyzed data from practices and games at the United States Military Academy, United States Naval Academy and the United States Air Force Academy. All players were males aged 18 to 22.

The total number of reported concussions increased from 23 during the 2009-10 season to 42 during the 2010-11 season.

The study was scheduled to be presented Thursday at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine annual meeting, in Baltimore.

"The timing of the new NCAA regulations and the increase in reported concussions could certainly be attributed to under-reporting from players and coaches in the past," Kilcoyne said in a society news release. "[But] such an increase is still notable, and we need continued studies in football and other sports to find out more."

Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, agreed.

"The degree of increase in reported rates is concerning, and will require larger well-controlled studies to evaluate the increased concussion rates observed in this limited study," he said. "What is clear is that many players have experienced a number of concussions prior to participation in collegiate athletic programs, and that some have already received undertreatment ... for their head trauma when they begin their college athletic careers."

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