Teen Concussion Tied to Higher Risk for Suicidal Behaviors

Possible dose-response relationship seen for concussions among boys
Teen Concussion Tied to Higher Risk for Suicidal Behaviors
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Medically Reviewed By:
Meeta Shah, M.D.

TUESDAY, Dec. 19, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents who report concussion have increased odds of reporting suicidal behaviors, according to a study published online Nov. 16 in the Journal of Athletic Training.

Jacob J.M. Kay, Ph.D., from Prisma Health Children's Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina, and colleagues examined the association between self-reported concussion frequency and nonfatal suicidal behaviors among youth. The analysis included data from 28,442 U.S. secondary school students participating in the national Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System.

The researchers found that students who reported two or more concussions had significantly greater odds of reporting suicidal attempts (adjusted odds ratio, 2.03) versus students reporting a single concussive event during the previous 12 months. There were interactions observed by sex, with the association driven by boys. Among girls, there was no difference in the strength of association by number of concussions.

"Future longitudinal examinations are necessary to better understand the possible cumulative effects of concussion on adolescent mental health and promote the development of earlier prevention strategies aimed at mitigating the link between concussive injury and potentially fatal risk behaviors," the authors write. "As such, schools would benefit from implementing regular mental health assessments and interventions to help students avoid feelings of depression and suicidality after concussion."

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