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Concussions Found to Be Common in Water Polo

Average was just over two per person; researchers found they were more common among females

THURSDAY, June 30, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Add water polo to the list of sports where concussions are common, according to findings published online June 27 in Frontiers of Neurology.

A recent survey of more than 1,500 USA Water Polo members found 36 percent had suffered at least one concussion during games or practices. The average was just over two concussions per person, and concussions were more common among females than males. Goalies had the highest rate of concussion, with 47 percent saying they had suffered at least one concussion. The average rate was 2.5 concussions per goalie.

Among water polo players whose highest level of competition was high school, 31 percent reported at least one concussion. Among college competitors, 51 percent said they’d had one or more concussions, as did 43 percent of players at the masters club level. College and masters players averaged more than two concussions per player.

“These numbers suggest that playing water polo carries a significant risk of concussion,” study coauthor Steven Small, M.D., Ph.D., chair of neurology at the University of California, Irvine, said in a university news release. “Our results speak to the need for systematic concussion reporting in water polo. Particularly important is reporting for individuals at the college level, who have the highest prevalence of concussion.”

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