Hockey concussions may be underestimated: study

Burlington, Ontario – Concussions may occur more often among men and women playing ice hockey than previous studies indicate, according to a new study from Elliott Sports Medicine Clinic and several universities.

Physicians observed two Canadian varsity hockey teams during the 2011-2012 season and gave players brain scans before and after the season and after head injuries.

Of 45 players – 25 male and 20 female – 11 sustained concussions. The incidence rate for men and women combined was 10.70 per 1,000 exposures during the regular season. However, the rate was significantly higher for women – 14.93 compared with 7.50 for men, researchers found.

Those figures were 3 times higher than what other studies have reported for men and 5 times higher for women. Researchers concluded the findings suggest “a significant underestimation of sports concussion in the scientific literature.”

The study was published in December issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery.

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