Concussion in Women

Women suffer from more concussions on average

Number of recurrent concussions

of women
of men

A study published by the Journal of Athletic Training found that on average women suffered from more concussions than men.
Using the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)  Injury Surveillance System they were able to access the athletic trainer’s medical records of athletes (soccer, lacrosse, basketball, softball, baseball, and gymnastics) from 1997-2000.  
5.9% of the 14,591 injuries were concussions.
9.5% of women suffered concussions during games while 6.4% of men suffered a concussion during games.
This showed that concussions affect women more than men in sex-comparable sports and allowed the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Committee on Competitive Safegurads and Medical Aspects of Sports to modify their rules to minimize the number of concussions.

Why women suffer from concussions disproportionately to men:

Weaker Axons

A Penn Medicine Study suggests that axon breakage may cause concussion symptoms, including dizziness. The weaker axons in women could contribute to the disproportionate rates of concussions and symptoms.

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Weaker neck

Women on average have weaker necks than men, which contributes to their higher rate of concussions. When women suffer a blow to their head, due to their lack of neck strength, they are more likely to suffer from whiplash, which increases the force that their brain will hit their skull. The greater the force that the brain makes contact with the skull the more severe the concussion will be.

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Changes in hormone levels could explain why women on average suffer from symptoms longer than men. A recent study showed that if a woman suffered from a concussion in the 2 weeks prior to the premenstrual phase of their period, a time when their progesterone levels are heightened, have a worse recovery compared to women who suffer from their concussion when their progesterone levels are low. Thus a drop in progesterone levels could explain worsen post-concussion syndrome in some women. 

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Below is our recent interview with Rachel Whittaker, founder, and CEO of BraEasy, an adaptive fashion brand that works to empowers women with disabilities by creating a bra that can be used with only one hand. What is your role at BraEasy? Inventor and business owner of BraEasy.   What is the story behind BraEasy?  When...
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