Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Concussion Risk: Female and Male Athletes

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Health, Medicine, 

Ed Hessler

Nature has a short report on concussion risk for female athletes. The short story is that female high-school soccer players are twice as likely as their male counterparts to receive a concussion. Data are from 80000 teenage soccer players (43000 male and 39000 female) in Michigan. 

Katharine Sanderson's report  includes a bar graph of the concussion risk for three years: 2016-2017, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019. She writes that "How the high-school players sustained their injuries also differed significantly between male and female adolescents: the boys’ most common way of becoming concussed was through bashing into another player, with almost half of all concussions reported happening in this way. Girls were most likely to be concussed after colliding with another object, such as the ball or one of the goalposts. Boys were also more likely to be removed from play immediately after a suspected head injury than were girls."

This difference indicates that the current concussion management system must consider "sex specific approaches," according to Dr.William Stewart at the University of Glasgow. Such changes could include, according to Sanderson's reporting, " restrictions on heading footballs, or having more medically trained personnel present during female matches."

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