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The Prevalence of Undiagnosed Concussions in Athletes – PMC

William P. Meehan, III, MD, Sports Concussion Clinic, Division of Sports Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA; et. al.
September 23, 2013
#concussion #reaction-time #cognitive-performance #athletics

Published: Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, September 23, 2013

Previous studies have suggested that athletes often neglect to report their concussions to medical personnel. In a 2004 study published by McCrea et al., less than half (47.3%) of US high school football players sustaining a concussion reported their symptoms.1 The authors defined a concussion as, “a blow to the head followed by a variety of symptoms that may include any of the following: headache, dizziness, loss of balance, blurred vision, ‘seeing stars,’ feeling in a fog or slowed down, memory problems, poor concentration, nausea or throwing up.”

In 2005, a study by LaBotz et al. found that only 17% of collegiate athletes reported sustaining a concussion, even though 48% reported sustaining a head injury that was followed by the signs and symptoms of concussion.2 Williamson et al. found similar results in amateur hockey,3 both retrospective surveying of players and diagnosing concussions by direct observation of players revealed substantially higher incidence rates than those officially reported. In a survey of all college athletes attending the University of Akron between 1995 and 2001, Kaut et al. reported that 32% of collegiate athletes had suffered a direct blow to the head resulting in dizziness, but only 20% had been diagnosed with a concussion.

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