Dallas-based Texas Scottish Rite Hospital released a North Texas study showing that young females are more prone to continue playing after sustaining a soccer-related concussion than young boys. The findings were shared at the American Academy of Pediatrics 2017 National Conference and Exhibition in Chicago.
Titled “Gender Differences in Same-Day Return to Play Following Concussion Among Pediatric Soccer Players,” the study examined youth athletes averaging 14 years old, who sustained a concussion while playing soccer and later were treated at a pediatric sports medicine clinic in Texas. Of the 87 patients diagnosed with a concussion, two-thirds were girls. Half of the young girls (51.7 percent) resumed playing, while only 17.2 percent of the boys did the same. The girls were five times more likely to continue playing than boys.
Dr. Shane Miller, the study’s senior author, told D CEO Healthcare it analyzed almost two years of data starting in April of 2014. He said, “It started off as a study where we began to notice a trend in Dallas-Fort Worth athletes with concussions who continued playing.”
Miller and TSRH clinical research coordinator Aaron Zynda found that 40 percent of TSRH patients diagnosed with a concussion were continuing to play. The researchers chose to delve into soccer-related injuries, as soccer is one of the most popular sports played in North Texas.
Miller said, “We know girls are having a higher rate of concussions, but they’re also showing higher rates of playing [with] a concussion versus boys.” Because Texas law states that any athlete with a suspected concussion should be removed from the game, Miller hopes the findings will help support safe play for youths in the future.
“Our next step is to find the repercussions of continuous play for girls and athletes with concussions,” Miller said. “We want to share our findings and tell [players, parents, athletic directors] to recognize injury, report injury, and remove players with injury… Those are concepts we’re trying to integrate here in North Texas.”