Women in Sports Being Shortchanged in Concussion Research
(DailyVantage.com) – Injuries are a natural part of playing sports. Athletes hope they don’t happen, but sometimes an unavoidable collision, or even moving the wrong way, can lead to accidents. Neurologists consider concussions among the most serious injuries players can sustain in sports, but scientists have largely dedicated their research to men. Are researchers shortchanging women in this respect?
The increasing awareness surrounding concussions is still relatively new, especially regarding the emergence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, which has led to the death of several high-profile sports players. Women are nearly as likely to receive concussions, but the studies tend to neglect them in favor of boys and men. In fact, a recent review shows most studies carried out consisted of more than 80% male participants. In sorting through the available data, researchers discovered that just over 40% of the literature had zero female participants.
Concussion protocols are based on research of mostly men. What about women? https://t.co/vUqwUd197n
— NPR Health News (@NPRHealth) October 27, 2022
One reason for the lack of female participants could be that concussions affect women differently. Or perhaps because professional sports are largely male-focused, this is where the research naturally goes. Yet, the available information proves women who play basketball, soccer, and softball are nearly twice as likely to sustain concussions. And that’s not all. Researchers found the recovery process for women was lengthier as well.
According to Dr. Christina Lin Master, a concussion specialist, enlisting the help of influential groups can help drive the research toward women. She thinks it might be as easy as speaking up.
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