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Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll - One in Five Concussion Patients Have Not Sought Medical Attention

Multiple Concussions Common Among Children

Ann Arbor, MI and Washington, DC, May 31, 2016 — One in five Americans who sustained a concussion did not seek medical treatment, and the majority of children who have suffered a concussion have had more than one, according to the Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll.

Truven Health Analytics™, an IBM company, and NPR conduct a bimonthly poll to gauge attitudes and opinions on a wide range of health issues.

The latest survey asked respondents for their opinions and personal experience with concussions. Overall, 23 percent of respondents said they have had a concussion. Of those who have had a concussion, just 79 percent sought treatment. Seven percent of patients who had a concussion said they’ve had more than five in their lifetime. When asked how they suffered their concussion, 43 percent said they sustained them while playing a contact sport, a rate that increases with higher levels of education and income. Post-concussion symptoms were also common among patients. Twenty-nine percent said they suffer from long-term symptoms, including headaches (80 percent), problems with concentration (69 percent), and memory problems (67 percent).

Additionally, 12 percent of households indicated that their child has had a concussion. Of those households, 60 percent say their child lost consciousness and 59 percent say their child has had more than one concussion. Effects suffered by children with concussion were sensitivity to light (54 percent), sleep disturbance (50 percent), irritability (48 percent), and depression (44 percent). Still, 84 percent of parents with a child who suffered a sports-related concussion indicated they would allow their child to continue playing contact sports.

“It seems that every day we’re learning something new about concussion science, and as a result, these data are particularly troubling, ” said Michael Taylor, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Truven Health Analytics. “Concussions are extremely serious injuries. For children in contact sports, there is no difference in the severity of a hit to the head by age. A recent study found football players as young as seven years old sustain hits to the head comparable in magnitude to those absorbed by high-school and adult players. So we’re looking at a very serious issue that is also prevalent in our country, with varying degrees of medical attention being sought.”

To date, the Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll has explored numerous health topics, including generic drugs, vaccines, data privacy, narcotic painkillers and sports-related concussions. NPR's reports on the surveys are archived online at the Shots health blog here.

Truven Health maintains a library of poll results here. The Truven Health Analytics-NPR Health Poll is powered by the Truven Health PULSE® Healthcare Survey, the nation’s largest and longest-running independently funded, nationally representative multi-modal poll that collects information about health-related behaviors and attitudes and healthcare utilization from 82, 000 US households annually. Survey questions are developed in conjunction with NPR. The figures in this month's poll are based on 3, 009 participants interviewed from March 1-15, 2016.

About Truven Health Analytics, part of the IBM Watson Health Business

Truven Health Analytics®, part of the IBM Watson Health™ business, provides market-leading performance improvement solutions built on data integrity, advanced analytics and domain expertise. For more than 40 years, our insights and solutions have been providing hospitals and clinicians, employers and health plans, state and federal government agencies, life sciences companies and policymakers, the facts they need to make confident decisions that directly affect the health and well-being of people and organizations in the US and around the world. The company was acquired by IBM in 2016 to help form a new business, Watson Health. Watson Health aspires to improve lives and give hope by delivering innovation to address the world’s most pressing health challenges through data and cognitive insights.

Truven Health Analytics owns some of the most trusted brands in healthcare, such as MarketScan®, 100 Top Hospitals®, Advantage Suite®, Micromedex®, Simpler® and ActionOI®. Truven Health has its principal offices in Ann Arbor, MI, Chicago, IL, and Denver, CO.


Brian Erni
For Truven Health Analytics
J. Roderick, Inc. Public Relations