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Published on: March 9, 2013
by Nancy Walsh for MedPage Today:
At a recent meeting of the Institute of Medicine in Washington on sports-related concussions in youth, several speakers pointed out that almost no public attention has been paid to head injuries in women and girls. But in fact, females are more susceptible to these injuries for reasons such as differences in head and neck structure, and cerebral blood flow.
One of the speakers, Katherine Price Snedaker, has established a Web site, pinkconcussions.com, to gather and disseminate information about the topic and to encourage further research. She noted that the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine has issued a position statement in which findings about women’s concussion are buried in the report, but included these findings:
The Web site also contains links to recent research, paltry though it might be. For instance, one study published in 2012 in Neurosurgical Focus found that during regular season play for university ice hockey, the incidence of concussion was 7.50 per 1,000 exposures for men, but 14.93 per 1,000 for women.
Double the incidence! That also was five times higher than the rate of concussions among women in sports previously reported, the study authors observed.
In another study published in 2012 in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, women had more severe symptoms and performed worse on tests of visual memory and postural stability following sports-related concussion.
Snedaker also asks on the Web site, “And beyond sport concussions, what else is known about female traumatic brain injury in the civilian research done on domestic violence or accidents, or by our military on female veterans?”
These are questions that need answering.
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