Numbers Don't Lie

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Can contact sports cause clinical depression ?

Football games give fans such hypes and joys, but it caused some players taking antidepressants pills.
Since deaths caused by this sport in US have now dropped to single digits, scientist more and more focused on subtle trauma, especially concussions ( an injury to soft tissues, especially the brain, resulting from a violent blow). Preliminary results show that even a minor ding can trigger a neurological cascade that can eventually cause cognitive dysfunction and mental illness. Among retired football players who have sustained 3 or more concussions, 20% have been diagnosed with clinical depression - more than 3 times the rate of players who never got a concussions, almost 50% of those are taking antidepressants medication, and most report that the condition impedes their normal daily activities, such as shopping for groceries and going to work.
Football is the most dangerous game when compare with other sports. In 2002-2003, for every 1000 athletes, every game played, there are 3.52 concussions. The same number dropped to 2.0 for ice hockey, 1.8 for women's soccer, and 1.12 for men's soccer.
Source: Discover, Dec. 2004.

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