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Study shows an increased long-term suicide risk following a concussion

A study published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that individuals who sustained concussions were three times more likely to commit suicide. Numerous studies have suggested that there is a link between concussions and suicide for members of the military.

Further, the suicides of former NFL players Junior Seau and Dave Duerson, among other former football players who sustained concussions over their career, would seem to indicate a similar link between concussions and suicide. This study, however, is unique in that it studied individuals from all walks of life. Its findings are sobering.

Taking a closer look at the link between concussions and suicide

The study, titled "Risk of suicide after a concussion" looked at more than 235,000 individuals in Ontario who sustained a concussion from 1992 to 2012. Of the people in this survey, 52% were men. The average age of the subject was 41 years old. More than 85% of the667 of these people committed suicide over this time frame. The median time between concussion and suicide was 9 years. This rate of suicide is 31 people per 100,000 people per year, which is roughly three times the general populace. Suicide risk was highest for people who had already attempted suicide. Other risk factors included a history of drug use and previous mental health issues. Interestingly, the study found that risk of suicide was highest on Saturdays and Sundays and lowest on Mondays.

This study highlights the need for people who have sustained brain injuries to receive the highest levels of care in order to achieve the best possible life outcomes. If you or someone you love has sustained a brain injury due to another's negligence, it is vital to speak to a knowledgeable personal injury about your situation.

Source: CMAJ "Risk of suicide after a concussion", Michael Fralick, Deva Thiruchelvam, Homer C. Tien, Donald A. Redelmeier, February 8, 2016

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