Are Symptoms Of Concussions Worse For Women Athletes?

Researchers affiliated with the University of Michigan have released a report suggesting women suffer more symptoms from concussions than men do. According to the researchers, women have more severe symptoms and poorer cognitive performance immediately after sustaining concussions. Women scored three points higher on symptom severity than men and reported almost twice as many symptoms.

This is an important development, as many current concussion tests used by athletic departments rely on baseline results.

Much of the research on concussions has focused on football, a male-dominated sport. However, women play sports such as lacrosse and soccer, which can also cause concussions. In another study, researchers with the Colorado University Anschutz Medical Campus discovered concussions are more prevalent among female soccer players than male players. The researchers claim girls sustain 4.5 concussions per 10,000 players while boys sustain 2.8.

In soccer, players often deflect shots using their heads. This practice has been speculated by some researchers as being the leading cause of concussions in soccer. However, other researchers have discovered heading is only responsible for concussions 25 to 35 percent of the time. Much like football, player-to-player contact is responsible for more than half of concussions in both men and women.

Can Symptoms Of Concussions Persist Long After Sports Injuries?

Players with concussions may have lingering aftereffects. Post-concussion syndrome can cause headaches and dizziness that lasts for weeks. For high school athletes, this can lead to a lot of missed school time. In addition, long-term symptoms of concussions may also cause mood and behavioral changes.

It is important for high school athletes to be tested after concussions are suspected, and to receive immediate medical attention. If symptoms are different for women, baseline tests may need to be revised.

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