ORLANDO, Fla. —Adults with
head injuries are known to be at high risk for depression, and yet little
research had been done on the topic related to children. In the abstract,
“Depression in Children Diagnosed with Brain Injury or Concussion,” presented
Oct. 25 at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and
Exhibition in Orlando, researchers sought to identify the prevalence of
depression in children with brain injuries, including concussions, in the U.S.
Using data from the 2007
National Survey of Children’s Health, researchers identified more than 2,000
children with brain injuries, reflecting the national child brain injury rate
of 1.9 percent in 2007; and 3,112 children with diagnosed depression, mirroring
the 3.7 percent national child depression rate that year. Compared to other
children, 15 percent of those with brain injuries or concussions were diagnosed
as depressed—a 4.9 fold increase in the odds of diagnosed depression.
“After adjustment for known
predictors of depression in children like family structure, developmental delay
and poor physical health, depression remained two times more likely in children
with brain injury or concussion,” said study author Matthew C. Wylie, MD,
author of the abstract, “Depression in Children Diagnosed with Brain Injury or
The study, the largest to
look at an association between brain injury and depression in children and
adolescents, “may enable better prognostication for brain-injured children and
facilitate identification of those at high risk of depression,” said Dr. Wylie.
To view the abstract, “Depression
in Children Diagnosed with Brain Injury or Concussion,” go to https://aap.confex.com/aap/2013/webprogram/Paper22515.html.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization
of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and
pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well being
of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit