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Energy Drinks Plus Alcohol Tied to Brain Injury in Teens

Sports-related incidents remain the most common cause of recent traumatic brain injury

FRIDAY, Sept. 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The consumption of energy drinks and alcohol mixed with energy drinks increases the odds of traumatic brain injury (TBI) among adolescents, according to a study published Sept. 16 in PLOS ONE.

Gabriela Ilie, Ph.D., from St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, and colleagues analyzed data from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health's 2013 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey of 10,272 seventh- to 12th-graders (ages 11 to 20 years) to determine the prevalence of adolescent TBI and its associations with energy drinks, alcohol, and energy drinks mixed in with alcohol.

The researchers found that 22.4 percent of all students reported a history of TBI, with sports injuries accounting for most injuries in the past year (45.5 percent). However, based on multinomial logistic regression, relative to adolescents who never sustained a TBI, the odds of sustaining a recent TBI were greater for those consuming alcohol, energy drinks, and energy drinks mixed in with alcohol than for abstainers. The odds ratios for these behaviors were higher for students who sustained a recent TBI than for those who sustained a former TBI (lifetime but not past 12 months).

"TBI remains a disabling and common condition among adolescents and the consumption of alcohol, energy drinks, and alcohol mixed with energy drinks further increase the odds of TBI among adolescents," conclude the authors.

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