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Do concussions affect males and females differently?

I recently studied over 1,300 high school and collegiate athletes, ages 14-22, to examine the possibility of gender differences among pre-season concussion symptoms. We asked each participant to score themselves in seven domains including Cognitive, Vestibular (dizziness, balance, coordination), Sleep, Migraine, Mood, Worry, and Anger.
 
The analysis demonstrated statistically significant increased symptom scores for female athletes on the Total Score, Vestibular, Sleep, Worry, Migraine, and Mood domains. No difference was found in the Cognitive, or Anger domains. Age related differences were not found.
 
We discovered that females are more likely to express their symptoms than males, who may experience the symptoms but not be willing to express them.
 
The conclusion is that significant gender differences exist in the endorsement (acknowledging and admitting experiencing the symptom) of concussion-related symptoms in high school and collegiate athletes at baseline; female athletes being more likely to endorse these symptoms with Vestibular, Sleep, Worry, and Mood domains. These gender differences should be taken into account when assessing athletes for concussion related symptoms.
 
In other words, it’s vital that people are aware of the differences between men and women, recognizing males are less likely to express all their symptoms after injury.
 
This is only one of at least four gender differences that complicate concussion management.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.