- 2019Oct 22
*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on MedicalXpress.
Adolescents who play contact sports, including football, are no more likely to experience cognitive impairment, depression or suicidal thoughts in early adulthood than their peers, suggests a new University of Colorado Boulder study of nearly 11,000 youth followed for 14 years.
The study, published this month in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, also found that those who play sports are less likely to suffer from mental health issues by their late 20s to early 30s.
"There is a common perception that there's a direct causal link between youth contact sports, head injuries and downstream adverse effects like impaired cognitive ability and mental health," said lead author Adam Bohr, Ph.D., a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Integrative Physiology. "We did not find that."
The study comes on the heels of several highly-publicized papers linking sport-related concussion among former professional football players to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), cognitive decline and mental health issues later in life. Such reports have led many to question the safety of youth tackle football, and participation is declining nationally.
But few studies have looked specifically at adolescent participation in contact sports.
The study analyzed data from 10,951 participants in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), a representative sample of youth in seventh through 12th grades who have been interviewed and tested repeatedly since 1994.
"We were unable to find any meaningful difference between individuals who participated in contact sports and those who participated in non-contact sports. Across the board, across all measures, they looked more or less the same later in life," said Bohr.
Football players—for reasons that are not clear—actually had a lower incidence of depression in early adulthood than other groups.
- 2019Oct 21
*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on HealthDay.
More teens and young adults are coming to a violent end in recent years, either at their own hand or another's, new federal data show.
Both suicide and homicide death rates are rising among 10- to 24-year-olds, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).
"Recently, in the last few years, they're both trending upward. Suicide began to turn upward earlier, in 2007, and now in 2014, homicide turned around as well," said Sally Curtin, an NCHS statistician. "These are leading causes of death, and they both are increasing now."
The suicide rate for young people aged 10 to 24 rose 56% between 2007 and 2017, with the pace increasing of late, the researchers said.
Suicide deaths increased 7% annually from 2013 to 2017, compared with 3% annually between 2007 and 2013, the investigators found.
Meanwhile, homicide deaths among 10- to 24-year-olds rose 18% between 2014 and 2017, after nearly a decade in decline, the researchers said.
Accidental deaths -- car crashes, drug overdoses, and drownings -- remain the leading cause of death in this age group, Curtin said. But deaths due to suicide and homicide are right behind and rising.
It's impossible to nail down any single cause for this increase in violent deaths among the young, said Dr. Alex Crosby, chief medical officer for the division of injury prevention at the CDC.
Homicide and suicide rates differed slightly between specific age groups of young people, the researchers reported.
For example, the suicide rate for 10- to 14-year-olds nearly tripled between 2007 and 2017, while their homicide rate declined 18% during the period between 2000 and 2017.
But people in the 15 to 19 and 20 to 24 age ranges have experienced increases in both suicide and homicide rates.
The report was published in the October issue of the CDC's NCHS Data Brief.
- 2019Oct 18
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