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Health & Medicine Type of Helmet Will Not Necessarily Prevent Concussion

Type of Helmet Will Not Necessarily Prevent Concussion

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First Posted: Jul 13, 2013 11:00 AM EDT
American football
A worker assembles a Xenith football helmet at the company's facility in Lowell, Massachusetts March 26, 2012. (Photo : Reuters)

With over 40,000 high school football kids getting a concussion every year, helmets were not necessarily related to a lower concussion risk, according to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Annual Meeting in Chicago, Il.

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"According to our research, lower risks of sustaining a sports-related concussion (SRC) and its severity were not improved based on a specific manufacturer. In addition, the SRC rates were similar for players wearing new helmets, as compared to those wearing older ones," said lead author, Timothy McGuine, PhD, ATC of the University of Wisconsin, via a press release. "It is also interesting to note, that players who wore a generic mouth guard provided by the school had a lower rate of SRC compared to players with more expensive mouth guards."

Researchers analyzed data that was collected by Licensed Athletic Trainers (ATCs) at 36 public and private high schools in Wisconsin during the 2012 football season. A sample of 1,332 players were enrolled in the study with 251 individuals having reported at least one SRC within the last six years, and 171 reported one SRC within the previous 12 months. ATCs at each school recorded the helmet brand, model and purchase year, as well as the type of mouth guard utilized according to the generic, specialized or custom fit of the model. ATCs also recorded the number and type of exposure regarding practice vs. game and the number of SRCs sustained.

"Increased risk of concussions in our study was not associated with age, BMI, grade in school, level of competition or years of football experience. However, players with a history of SRC were twice as likely to sustain another one compared to players without a history. Additional screening to identify those players with increased concussion risk is a key to prevention and hopefully will help reduce rates in the future," said McGuine, via the release.

More information regarding the study can be found in the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine

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