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Concussion Victims Show Increased Risk of Suicide

People over 18 who suffer a concussion have a three-fold greater risk of suicide over the long term when compared to the general “non-concussed” population, according to a new study out of Canada and being reported on by Reuters.

This study was somewhat unique in that, unlike some earlier research, if focused on “regular people” as opposed to those with known brain injuries who frequently were members of the armed forces or elite level athletes.

In this study, researchers analyzed medical records of people who sustained a concussion but said concussion was not severe enough for the victims to require admission to a hospital. The final count of “participants” was nearly a quarter of a million who were then tracked from 1992 through 2012.

With the average follow-up time of 9 years, just over 650 concussion victims committed suicide, which is equivalent to 31 deaths by suicide per 100,000 people annually. To put that into perspective, that number is more than three times greater than the suicide rate of non-concussed people.

Interestingly, people who sustain a concussion on a weekend seem to have a higher suicide rate than people who are concussed during the week. Researchers believe this difference might be due to weekday concussions happening at a place, such as work, where there is a concussion protocol whereas a person who sustains a head injury on a weekend might simply ignore it.

It is important to note that the suicide risk following a concussion rose regardless of the victims’ prior psychiatric issues.