Concussion Laws Helping Student-Athletes, Study Finds

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MONDAY, Dec. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A large increase in the number of U.S. school-age athletes receiving treatment for concussions is likely due to new laws and increased public awareness, a new study suggests.

Researchers examined data collected from privately insured 12- to 18-year-olds across the United States between 2006 and 2012 in order to assess the impact of concussion laws. Since 2009, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws about concussion treatment.

In states where such laws were in place during the study period, there was a 92 percent increase in the number of young athletes receiving treatment for concussion. Even in states without such laws, there was a 75 percent increase in concussion treatment for student players, according to the researchers.

"There are two stories here," study senior author Steven Broglio, an associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology and director of the NeuroSport Research Laboratory, said in a university news release.

"First, the legislation works. The other story is that broad awareness of an injury has an equally important effect. We found large increases in states without legislation, showing that just general knowledge plays a huge part."

The study was published online Dec. 22 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about concussion.