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Concussions Linked to Three-Fold Increase in Suicide Risk

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Paige Tears-Gladstone2 years ago

A new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal by researchers at the University of Toronto has exposed a connection between concussions and suicide.

About the Concussion Study

The team of researchers, led by scientist Donald Redelmeier, initiated the study in order to examine the relation between the two. They began by identifying approximately 250,000 adults in Ontario who had been diagnosed with a mild concussion (severe cases which resulted in hospital admission were excluded from the study) within a 20 year span and then tracked them for death due to suicide.

More than 660 suicides occurred amongst these patients, which equates to 31 deaths per 100,000 patients annually-a figure three times higher than the norm.

This study did not take into account the circumstances under which the concussions occurred and examined only the records of adults who sought out medical attention. As a result, there exists the possibility that the findings underestimate the scope of the risk which may be much higher.

Study Results

This study revealed a positive correlation between the two factors-the more concussions someone had suffered, the higher the likelihood of suicide.

Even a single mild concussion was found sufficient to increase the long-term risk of suicide threefold in adults. If the concussion occurred on a weekend, instead of a weekday, then that risk is four times higher than in someone who hadn’t suffered a concussion. On average, these suicides occurred about six years following the concussion.

This risk was found to exist regardless of demographic or previous psychiatric condition.


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