HealthDay News — Female athletes appear to be more likely than males to suffer concussions during their careers on the field, according to a study scheduled for presentation at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, to be held from April 22 to 28 in Boston.
Cecilia Davis-Hayes, a medical student at Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues tracked 1,203 athletes from Columbia University from 2000 to 2014 – 822 were male, and 381 were female. The athletes all played sports believed to pose a higher risk of concussions. For women, the sports included field hockey, soccer, basketball, softball, and lacrosse. For men, the sports initially included just football but then also included wrestling, basketball, and soccer.
The researchers found that 23% of the women and 17% of the men had at least one concussion during their college careers over the time of the study. Levels of most concussion symptoms were similar among the men and women, although forgetfulness was more common for men (44% reported it, compared to 31% of the women). Women were more likely to experience insomnia (42%, compared to 29% of men).
“It is unclear why women appear to be at higher risk for sports-related concussions than men,” a coauthor said in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology. “The findings from this study highlight the need for more research on the gender differences in concussion.”