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Racial differences in concussion diagnosis and mechanism of injury among adults presenting to emergency departments across the United States.

Brain Injury 2023 August 22
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to examine the association between race and concussion diagnosis as well as the association between race and mechanism of injury (MOI) for concussion diagnoses in adult patients (>19 years old) visiting the emergency department (ED).

METHODS: A retrospective analysis of patient visits to the ED for concussion between 2010 and 2018, using the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, was conducted. Outcome measures included concussion diagnosis and MOI. Multivariable and multinomial logistic regression analyses were conducted to assess associations between race and outcome variables. The results were weighted to reflect population estimates with a significance set at p  < 0.05.

RESULTS: Overall, 714 patient visits for concussions were identified, representing an estimated 4.3 million visits nationwide. Black adults had lower odds of receiving a concussion diagnosis [ p  < 0.05, Odds Ratio (OR), 0.54; 95% Confidence Interval (CI), 0.38-0.76] compared to White adults in the ED. There were no significant differences in MOI for a concussion diagnosis by race.

CONCLUSION: Racial differences were found in the ED for concussion diagnosis. Disparities in concussion diagnosis for Black or other minoritized racial groups could have significant repercussions that may prolong recovery or lead to long-term morbidity.

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