From time to time on Neurosurgery Blog, you will see us cross-posting or linking to items from other places when we believe they hit the mark on an issue. As such, we wanted to draw your attention to a new Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) report entitled, “The Steep Rise in Concussion Diagnoses in the U.S.,” which shows concussion diagnoses spiked in the U.S. from 2010 through 2015. The study finds that:
- Concussion diagnoses spiked 71 percent for patients ages 10 through 19 during the six-year study period. Concussion diagnoses for adults ages 20 through 64 increased 26 percent.
- Fall is the peak concussion season for patients ages 10 through 19 with the most dramatic increases seen among males. Concussion diagnoses for young males in autumn are nearly double that of young females.
- The growth of diagnosis rates for young women increased 118 percent compared to an increase for young men of 48 percent during the study period. Young men are still being diagnosed with 49 percent more concussions than young females.
- BCBS data in 2015 show that patients ages 10 through 19 in some states have nearly a three times higher rate of concussions diagnosed than in other states. The Northeast experienced higher rates of concussion diagnoses than other regions overall. Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts had the highest rates of concussion diagnoses for patients ages 10 through 19.
Overall, the report helps to show the correlation that better awareness and education appears to be responsible for increased concussion diagnoses among adolescents. It also highlights the importance of getting evaluated by a qualified professional who can accurately diagnose concussions and determine when it is safe for kids to return to play.
Editor’s Note: During the month of September, we encourage everyone to join the conversation online by using the hashtag #ConcussionFacts.