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Athletes who suffer concussion more likely to report mental health issues after their careers

Ireland was one of the eight countries to take part in the research.

Image: Nigel French

NEW RESEARCH HAS shown athletes who suffer a concussion during their career are more likely to experience mental health issues in retirement.

The study was carried out by Vincent Gouttebarge, Chief Medical Officer with FifPro and surveyed 576 former athletes, across a range of sports.

Eight countries took part – including Ireland – as first-division footballers, ice-hockey players and rugby players were investigated.

Findings show that those who suffer four or five concussions were 1.5 times more likely to experience symptoms of anxiety, depression and sleep disturbance than those with no concussions.

If players suffered six or more concussions, the symptoms were between two and fives times more likely to occur. And for the 10 years immediately following retirement, athletes are seven to 11% more likely to report the symptoms.

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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