Research Reports - Concussion history in adolescent athletes with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

J Neurotrauma. 2014 Nov 6

Iverson GL(1), Atkins JE, Zafonte R, Berkner PD

Little is known about the rate of concussions in adolescents with
attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We hypothesized that high school
athletes with ADHD would report a greater history of concussion than students
without ADHD. 6,529 adolescent and young adult student athletes, between the ages
of 13 and 19 (M=15.9, SD=1.3 years), completed a preseason health survey in 2010.
Of those with ADHD, 26.1% reported a history of one or more concussions compared
to 17.1% of those without ADHD (p<.00001; OR=1.71). Stratified by gender, 27.0%
of boys with ADHD reported a history of one or more concussions compared to 20.0%
of boys without ADHD (p<.004; OR=1.48), and 23.6% of girls with ADHD reported a
history of one or more concussions compared to 13.6% of girls without ADHD
(p<.003; OR=1.97). Of those with ADHD, 9.8% reported a history of two or more
concussions compared to 5.5% of those without ADHD (p<.0003; OR=1.87). Stratified
by gender, 10.0% of boys with ADHD reported a history of two or more concussions
compared to 6.7% of boys without ADHD (p<.033; OR=1.54), and 9.1% of girls with
ADHD reported a history of two or more concussions compared to 3.8% of girls
without ADHD (p<.006; OR=2.51). In this large-scale, retrospective survey study,
boys and girls with ADHD were significantly more likely to report a history of
concussion. Additional research is needed to determine if students with ADHD are
more susceptible to injury (i.e., have a lower threshold) or have different
recovery trajectories.

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