Risk for Repeat Concussion Quantified for Pediatric Patients

16.2 percent of patients experienced at least one repeat concussion; increase in risk seen with patient age

head injury

WEDNESDAY, May 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A total of 16.2 percent of children with an index concussion experience at least one repeat concussion within two years, according to a study published online May 14 in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Allison E. Curry, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and colleagues queried electronic health records to identify a retrospective cohort of 5- to 15-year-old patients with their first clinical visit for an index concussion from July 2012 through June 2013. A random sample of 536 children was selected and followed for two years.

The researchers found that 16.2 percent of patients experienced at least one repeat concussion within two years of the index concussion. There was an increase in the risk for repeat concussion with patient age (9.5, 10.7, and 19.8 percent for ages 5 to 8, 9 to 11, and 12 to 15 years, respectively). Risk was particularly heightened among patients whose index concussion had a longer clinical course (>30 days versus zero to seven days: adjusted risk ratio, 1.65) and greater symptom burden (>11 versus zero to two symptoms: adjusted risk ratio, 2.12) after adjustment for other factors.

"Knowing a child's increased risk for repeat concussions can help families make better decisions about their child's health," a coauthor said in a statement. "By looking at the number of symptoms and length of recovery, clinicians can give families data on which to make informed decisions about future risk."

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