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Concussions on the Rise for College Players

Update Date: Jul 12, 2012 10:35 AM EDT

A new report has been released that says that the concussion rate in three college football programs has doubled in recent years.

"We monitored concussions at three service academies in the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 football seasons, and saw the combined number of reports increased from 23 to 42 in this timespan," said Kelly G. Kilcoyne, MD, lead author from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, DC.

The increase comes after a 2010 NCAA concussion management initiative that requires athletic programs to report concussions signs and symptoms and then remove players from play.

"The timing of the new NCAA regulations and the increase in reported concussions could certainly be attributed to under-reporting from players and coaches in the past," Kilcoyne noted. "Such an increase is still notable, and we need continued studies in football and other sports to find out more."

The study compiled concussion data from practices and games at the United States Military Academy, United States Naval Academy and the United States Air Force Academy, all Division I Athletic Programs. All patients were males between the ages of 18 and 22, with rosters having about 150 players for practices and 90 for games.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 1.6 million to 3.8 million concussions occur each year and up to 10 percent of athletes will experience a concussion in any given sport season.

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