A look at the link between brain injuries and suicide risk

This article looks at a recent study that shows a link between concussions and suicide risk.

A recent study by researchers in Toronto has revealed a disturbing connection between concussions and suicide risk. As the Toronto Star reports, the study revealed that people who suffer from a concussion, also known as a mild traumatic brain injury, are three times more likely to commit suicide. The study is startling, especially given the fact that the researchers focused exclusively on people who were not hospitalized for their injuries. The results show how concussions, including those related to motor vehicle accidents, can lead to long-term health consequences that may require ongoing treatment.

What the study shows

The study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, analyzed the medical records of every adult in Ontario who had been diagnosed with a concussion between 1992 and 2012 and whose injury did not require hospitalization. The researchers found that 667 out of the 235,000 people studied had taken their own lives at a rate of 31 deaths per 100,000 people. That suicide rate is three times higher than the Canadian average, which is 9 deaths per 100,000.

Interestingly, the study also showed that people who suffered a concussion on the weekend were four times more likely to commit suicide. That increased risk may be because weekend concussions tend to be the result of recreational activities, during which people are less likely to seek medical treatment. Weekday concussions, by contrast, tend to happen at work when individuals are more likely to visit a doctor.

Long-term health risks

As the Globe and Mail reports, the average span of time between when the concussion occurred and when individuals took their own lives was six years. That timespan suggests that concussions, even those that do not require a hospital stay, could still lead to long-term health problems.

Furthermore, the study showed that about half of the people who did commit suicide had visited a doctor within the week prior to their deaths. That finding suggests that physicians should be made aware of any concussion a patient may have had in the past, no matter how long ago that concussion was, in order to offer that patient better treatment and care.

Personal injury law

As the above study suggests, brain injuries can lead to health effects that are both devastating and long-term. Sadly, many people try to "shrug off" what may at first appear to be a mild injury, but even a mild injury can lead to serious problems later on. Additionally, this study shows that for those who have suffered a head injury, getting long-term and ongoing care should be a priority. A personal injury lawyer can help those who have suffered a serious injury get the help they need. By contacting an experienced lawyer today, injured victims will have a dedicated and knowledgeable advocate on their side fighting for their rights.