TUESDAY, Dec. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) — High school students with a history of sports-related concussions might be at an increased risk for suicide, according to a study published online Nov. 11 in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

Dale S. Mantey, Ph.D., from the University of Texas School of Public Health in Austin, and colleagues used data from the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey (13,353 participants) to assess the relationship between self-reported history of sports-related concussion and five risk factors for suicide completion.

The researchers found that overall, 15.0 percent of high school students reported a sports-related concussion in the previous 12 months. Of students who reported a history of concussion, approximately 36 percent reported they had felt sad or hopeless (compared with 31.1 percent of all adolescents) and about 21 percent reported they had thoughts of suicide (compared with 17 percent of all adolescents). The investigators observed a significant association between self-reported sports-related concussion and greater odds of feeling sad/hopeless (adjusted odds ratio, 1.20), suicidal ideation (adjusted odds ratio, 1.25), suicide attempt (adjusted odds ratio, 1.60), and suicide attempt treated by a doctor/nurse (adjusted odds ratio, 2.35).

“If a child is diagnosed with a concussion, everyone in their support network should look for changes in mood or behavior that may be warning signs of reduced mental well-being,” Mantey said in a statement.

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