Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Brain & Nervous System Health Center

Font Size

Concussion Rates Double Among High School Athletes

Experts say rise likely reflects increased awareness, more legislation about concussions

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Kathleen Doheny

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, May 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The rate of concussions in U.S. high school athletes more than doubled between 2005 and 2012, new research shows.

The trend probably reflects an increased awareness and more legislation governing concussions in student athletes, and not more danger in sports, the study authors noted.

"The bottom line is that rates have gone up," said lead researcher Dr. Joseph Rosenthal, an assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Ohio State University. "We don't know the exact reason. This was an observational study, so I can't say for sure, but I believe what is explaining the increase is the increased awareness, not that sports are more dangerous. It's just that the concussions are being recognized more, which is good news."

The study was published recently in The American Journal of Sports Medicine.

Concussions are usually due to a blow to the head, often in sports such as football or ice hockey, but they also occur in other sports.

The researchers analyzed data from a sample of 100 U.S. high schools that have one or more certified athletic trainers on staff.

Rosenthal's team found that the concussion rate increased from 0.23 to 0.51 concussions for every 1,000 athlete exposures. An athletic exposure is defined as a single athlete participating in one competition or a practice.

From 2005 through 2012, just over 4,000 concussions occurred in seven sports. These included football, soccer, volleyball, basketball, wrestling, baseball and softball.

Five of those sports had increases that were statistically significant. These included football, boys' basketball, boys' wrestling, boys' baseball and girls' softball. High school football had the highest rates of concussion, according to the study.

Increased awareness is probably behind the higher numbers, agreed Steven Broglio, an athletic trainer and director of the Neurosport Research Lab, at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He is also chair of the National Athletic Trainers' Association position statement on the management of sport-related concussion.

"I'm not entirely surprised at this uptick," said Broglio. More concussions are being recognized due to a number of factors, including increased media coverage on the dangers of concussions and position statements about concussion management from organizations such as his, he added.

Today on WebMD

nerve damage
Learn how this disease affects the nervous system.
senior woman with lost expression
Know the early warning signs.
woman in art gallery
Tips to stay smart, sharp, and focused.
medical marijuana plant
What is it used for?
senior man
boy hits soccer ball with head
red and white swirl
marijuana plant
brain illustration stroke
nerve damage
Alzheimers Overview
Graphic of number filled head and dna double helix