Teenage girls at higher concussion risk than boys when playing football

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NEW research has been released that claims teenage girls are at almost double the risk of getting a concussion than boys while playing football.

New findings published today in the journal JAMA Network shows that as well as being more likely to receive a concussion, teenage girls are also less likely to be removed from play and take longer to recover from the injury than their male counterparts.

Professor Willie Stewart, an Honorary Professor at the University of Glasgow, reviewed three years of injury data for a population of around 40,000 female high school footballers at the Michigan High School Athletic Association.

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Risk of sports related concussion among female footballers is almost double compared to males(Photo from Jeffrey F Lin on Unsplash)

He used this data and compared it to a similar number of male footballers over the same time frame.

Professor Stewart, said: Given we know the importance of immediate removal from play for any athlete with suspected concussion, it is notable that “if in doubt, sit them out” appears more likely to happen for boys than girls.

“This, together with the finding that mechanism of injury appears different between boys and girls, suggests that there might be value in sex-specific approaches to concussion education and management in this age group.”

The study confirms that the risk of sports related concussion among female footballers was 1.88 times higher than that of males.

The researchers also identified several sex-associated differences in sports concussion mechanism and management providing new insights into the injury in this age group.

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Female athletes are at increased concussion risk compared to male athletes(Photo by Jeffery F Lin on Unsplash)

Male footballers were most often injured colliding with another player and were 1.5 times more likely to be removed from play on the day of injury, compared with females, who were most often injured from contact with equipment, such as the ball or a goalpost

Adolescent female footballers also took on average two days longer to recover from injury and return to play.