Do Concussions Affect Men and Women Differently?


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TBI Attorneys Emroch and Kilduff

Concussions are no joke. If you suffered a head injury, monitor for signs and symptoms that could signal a brain injury with the potential to have a lasting impact on your life and health.

Evidence suggests women are more at risk of concussions than men, and may exhibit different signs and symptoms. Read on to learn how your gender can affect how you experience and recover from a concussion.

Studies: Women Are More at Risk

Research has emerged that women are more susceptible to concussions than men. Over a five-year period, the National Collegiate Athletic Association studied men and women in comparable sports. The study showed that 6.3 out of 1,000 women athletes in soccer received concussions, while only 3.4 out of 1,000 men playing soccer had the same problem. In basketball, the number was 6.0 out of 1,000 women and 3.9 out of 1,000 males.

The conclusion: Although sport and the dangers associated with them are largely the same, women appear to face a greater risk of concussions than men. Researchers at Columbia University reported similar findings, concluding that among college athletes, women were at a higher risk for head injury than men: 23 percent of women would experience a concussion at some point during their collegiate athletic careers, compared to only 17 percent of men.

Women’s Symptoms versus Men’s Symptoms

Men and women tend to experience some of the same symptoms when it comes to concussions: headaches, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating are highly common after concussions. Other symptoms, however, vary by gender. After a concussion, women are more likely than men to report a loss of confidence, higher degrees of dizziness, and a need for help and supervision for simple daily tasks. Men, in contrast, tend to report greater sensitivity to noise, sleep disturbances, and trouble setting realistic goals following head injuries. In pediatric and elderly populations, women are more likely to die from their injuries than males.

Symptom Duration

It’s difficult to measure symptoms of traumatic brain injuries in many patients, because researchers have to rely on self-reporting by patients. However, some studies have found that women report a longer duration of symptoms than men, struggling longer to get back on their feet following concussions. Women may need more help returning to daily tasks than their male counterparts and may take longer to stop showing symptoms altogether.

While concussion symptoms are overall fairly similar in women and men, women may experience more severe repercussions for the injuries that lead to concussions. Researchers remain unsure of what differences in men and women cause these fundamental differences in the way their brains handle concussions and other types of injuries, but they remain hopeful that they will understand these differences and create more effective treatments for both genders.

Getting Help

Have you suffered a concussion or other traumatic brain injury through no fault of your own? Don’t wait to get the legal help you need. Contact us today at (804) 358-1568 to schedule a free consultation about whether you may be entitled to receive compensation for your injury.