SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 30 June 2014

Incidence Rate of Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Diagnoses in the General Population: An Analysis of Emergency Department Visits in 2001 and 2010


Recent events have generated discussions on the mechanisms and consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the context of contact sports. Central to these discussions is an understanding of the frequency and severity of TBI in sports. To compare the incidence rate of sport-related TBI diagnoses for the general population in 2001 to the incidence rate in 2010, injury data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) and sport participation data from the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA) were analyzed. In 2001 and 2010, of the seven sports considered, there were approximately 1.5 × 106 sport-related emergency department (ED) visits. In 2001, approximately 60 000 of those visits were associated with a TBI diagnosis. About 95 % of these patients diagnosed with TBI were treated and released or released without treatment; less than 4 % were hospitalized. The estimated number of sport-related TBI diagnoses more than doubled in 2010, while the disposition ratio remained the same. Changes in the number of sport-related ED visits, number of TBI diagnoses, and incidence rate of TBI associated with each sport were analyzed. Factors that may influence these changes are discussed.

Author Information

Rodowicz, Kathleen
Biomechanics Practice, Philadelphia, PA, US
Watson, Heather
Statistical & Data Sciences Practice, Menlo Park, CA, US
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Developed by Committee: F08
Pages: 1–9
DOI: 10.1520/STP155220120207
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-7582-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-7538-9