WEDNESDAY, March 9, 2022 (HealthDay News) — For children aged 5 to 18 years, concussion is associated with an increased risk for mental health problems, according to a study published online March 7 in JAMA Network Open.

Andrée-Anne Ledoux, Ph.D., from the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute in Ottawa, Canada, and colleagues examined the associations between concussion and the risk for subsequent mental health issues, psychiatric hospitalizations, self-harm, or suicides in a population-based retrospective cohort study involving children and adolescents aged 5 to 18 years with a concussion or orthopedic injury that occurred between April 1, 2010, and March 31, 2020. Data were included for 152,321 children and adolescents with concussion and 296,482 with orthopedic injury, matched by age and sex.

The researchers found that the incidence rates of any mental health problem were 11,141 and 7,960 per 100,000 person-years in those exposed and unexposed to concussion, respectively. Those exposed to concussion had an increased risk for developing a mental health issue (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.39), self-harm (aHR, 1.49), and psychiatric hospitalization (aHR, 1.47) after a concussion. No statistically significant difference was seen in death by suicide for those with and without concussion.

“It has been found that collaborative care and mental health treatment improve outcomes in pediatric concussion with chronic symptoms,” the authors write. “Future studies should examine acute management protocols and strategies for reducing the risks of later mental health disorders among patients with concussion.”

One author reported being the cofounder, scientific director, and a minority shareholder in 360 Concussion Care, an interdisciplinary concussion clinic.

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