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History Of Concussion Linked To Increased Risk of Depression In Teens

Clinicians advised to screen adolescents with concussion history for signs of depression

Study details 

The study was based on data collected during the 2007-2008 portion of the National Survey of Children's Health 2007, [22] a random telephone survey of parents with one or more children under 18 years old administered by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. If respondents reported no children under 18 years old lived in the household, the interview was stopped. If they reported children under age 18, one of the children was randomly selected to be discussed.

The interview was conducted with the parent or caregiver, and interviews were completed in 66% of households identified with children, for a total of 91,642 surveys. Surveys were conducted in English and Spanish. The survey was designed to collect a nationally representative sample of the noninstitutionalized population aged 0-17 years, with at least 1,700 surveys per state. A wide range of topics were covered including (1) medical insurance coverage; (2) child and family demographics; (3) parental physical and mental health; (4) child physical and mental health; (5) school performance; and (6) neighborhood description. 

Data from 36,060 individuals met the criteria for analysis; of these 49.2% were female (Table 1). A small proportion of these subjects had had a previous concussion (2.7%) and a similarly small number had a current depression diagnosis (3.4%). There were slightly more males than females (50.8% vs. 49.2%) and slightly more younger adolescents than older adolescents (50.8% vs. 49.2%). Few of these subjects (10.7%) had parents with poor or fair mental health and it was uncommon (15.2%) for subjects to be at or below the poverty level.

The researchers found that:

  • History of concussion was associated with a 3.2-fold greater risk for current depression compared with those with no such history.  
  • Being an older adolescent (15-17 years) was associated with 1.5-fold greater risk for depression compared with being a younger adolescent (12-14 years).
  • Poor or fair mental health of either parent was associated with a 4.8-fold greater risk for depression compared with parental mental health rated as good, very good, or excellent.
  • Being above the poverty level was associated with a 33%-64% decreased risk for depression compared with being at or below the poverty level.
  • Although there were more females than males who were depressed, a subject's sex was not significantly associated with depression diagnosis.

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25. Katherine Kahn. "Teen Concussions Increase Risk for Depression."  Health Behavior News Service. January 9, 2014, http://www.newswise.com/articles/teen-concussions-increase-risk-for-depression?ret=/articles/list&category=medicine&page=1&search%5Bstatus%5D=3&search%5Bsort%5D=date+desc&search%5Bsection%5D=10&search%5Bhas_multimedia%5D=

 

 

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