Collegiate athletes who have suffered a previous concussion were three times more likely to have another concussion compared to athletes who had never had one, according to a study conducted from researchers at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.
The study also found that female collegiate athletes were more likely than their male counterparts to have a concussion, both overall and in gender-comparable sports.
Much of the concussion research has focused on male sports, such as football. Researchers set out to determine whether female athletes had similar risk with head injuries. Their analysis involved more than 1,000 athletes, both male and female. The found that both male and female athletes who had a history of concussion were more likely to suffer another head injury. Women, however, were more prone to recurrent concussion, researchers found.
The researchers said it was unclear why women appear to be at greater risk of sports-related concussions than men and said more research is needed to better understand the gender differences in concussions.
“This finding, if it can be further corroborated, may help in patient-centered discussions regarding risk of future concussions,” James M. Noble, MD, MS, told MedPage Today.
Recent studies have found that repeated blows to the head such as those suffered by athletes can lead to long-term adverse effects on the brain. Repeated concussions have been linked to degenerative brain diseases including dementia, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
CTE is currently diagnosed during an autopsy of the brain and has been diagnosed in professional football players including NFL players Junior Seau and Ray Easterling, both of whom committed suicide.
Source: MedPage Today