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Former College Athletes Don't Have Increased Depression Risk

Current sports athletes have a greater risk of unhappiness than former, graduated competitors

MONDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Former college athletes seem not to have an increased risk for depression, according to a study published online March 25 in Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach.

Sabrina Weigand, of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and colleagues examined the correlation between depression and retirement from athletics among former college athletes, using data from surveys sent to 163 former college athletes and 117 current college athletes.

The researchers found that, compared with former, graduated college athletes, current athletes exhibited significantly higher depression levels (16.77 versus 8.03 percent; P = 0.03).

"The results of this and previous studies on depression in college athletes call for increased awareness, education, screening, and intervention in college athletes by athletic departments as well as medical and university personnel, but they did not show an increase in depression rates in retired athletes," the authors write. "While services to help with depression generally already exist, awareness of these support services should be greater emphasized in college athletics."

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