Several different brain injury studies reported by the New York Times recently show that certain individuals are more susceptible to brain injuries. These individuals share specific characteristics that allow researchers to forecast the propensity for some athletes to sustain concussions in sports.
What do all the studies show? Brain injuries are more common in athletes who:
- Are shorter than other players.
- Play a defense position on the team.
- Have a history of concussions. (Athletes who experience a sports-related concussions have nearly an 80% greater risk of suffering another concussion. Last year, a study showed that soccer headers are linked to long-term brain damage.)
- Are younger than other players.
- Have a history of aggression. (Ex. Start fights or have high numbers of penalities during a game.)
Although each factor has a varying degree of association when it comes to injury risk, and the same sports injury could affect two athletes very differently, it helps to know what the statistics show so that players can participate in games safely. This may help student athletes prevent a school sports injury claim, and it can help educate players to take preventative steps as they age and continue to participate in sports.