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High prevalence of self reported brain injury among schoolchildren in Canada

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f4056 (Published 26 June 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f4056

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When researchers from Canada surveyed almost 9000 of Ontario’s senior school children in 2011, a fifth of respondents reported a history of traumatic brain injury. They were asked about injuries that resulted in loss of consciousness for at least five minutes or admission to hospital overnight. Lifetime prevalence was 20.2% (95% CI 18.1% to 22.4%), and 5.6% (4.2% to 7.5%) reported an injury in the past year.

Researchers surveyed children aged between 11 and 20 (mean 15 years ) during lessons in 181 schools. Boys reported more brain injuries than girls (lifetime prevalence excluding the last year 16.2% v 12.8%). Just over half of all brain injuries in the past year occurred during sport. This proportion was higher among boys than girls (63.3% v 46.9%).

In adjusted cross sectional analyses, students with average grades under 70% had a higher odds of reporting a brain injury than students with better grades. Students who used cannabis or alcohol had higher odds of a recent brain injury than students who used none. The survey’s overall response rate was 62%.

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Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f4056