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Drop Seen in Rate of Sports and Recreation-Related TBI in Children

2012 to 2018 saw decrease in SSR TBI ED visits for children, mainly due to drop in contact sports-linked TBI

FRIDAY, July 10, 2020 (HealthDay News) — From 2012 to 2018, there was a decrease in the rate of sports and recreation-related traumatic brain injury (SRR-TBI) emergency department visits for children, according to research published in the July 10 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Dana Waltzman, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues used data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program for 2001 to 2018 to examine changes in the incidence of emergency department -related SRR-TBI among children.

The researchers found that from 2001 to 2018, there were an estimated 3,888,020 SRR-TBI emergency department visits among children younger than 17 years. The rate of SRR-TBI emergency department visits decreased 27 percent from 2012 to 2018, from 411.1 to 298.8 per 100,000 population. The decrease was mainly driven by a decline of 32 percent in contact sports-related TBI emergency department visits from 2012 to 2018 after more than a decade of increasing rates. A decline in football-related SRR-TBI emergency department visits during 2013 to 2018 was the main contributor to the decrease. Likely contributing factors to this decline were decreased participation in tackle football and implementation of contact limitations.

“These results highlight the importance of examining changes in sports-specific SRR-TBIs rates over time to understand the changing epidemiology of this injury,” the authors write.

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