Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital found that one in five teens reported ever experiencing a traumatic brain injury (including concussion) that required overnight hospitalization or that caused them to become unconscious for at least five minutes. And more than half of these incidents were from sports, such as ice hockey, skateboarding and soccer.
“Traumatic brain injury is preventable,” study researcher Dr. Gabreila Ilie, a post-doctoral fellow at St. Michael’s Hospital, said in a statement. “If we know who is more vulnerable, when and how these injuries are occurring, we can talk to students, coaches, and parents about it. We can take preventive action and find viable solutions to reduce their occurrence and long-term effects.”
The study involved evaluating data from 9,000 teens in grades 7 through 12 in Ontario. In addition to finding that 20 percent of the teens reported having experienced a TBI in the past, 5.6 percent of them said that they’d experienced a TBI in the last year alone.
Researchers found that certain factors upped the risk of experiencing TBI. For instance, boys were more likely than girls to experience TBI. And more boys experienced TBI as a result of sports — 63.5 percent — than girls — 46.9 percent.