Using data from the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health, researchers identified more than 2,000 children with brain injuries, including concussions. This reflects the national child brain injury rate of 1.9 percent in 2007, the researchers noted.
They also identified 3,112 children with diagnosed depression, mirroring the 3.7 percent national child depression rate that year.
When 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, according to the researchers.
“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, M.D.
The study is the largest to look at an association between brain injury and depression in children and adolescents, according to Wylie.
He noted that the findings “may enable better prognostication for brain-injured children and facilitate identification of those at high risk of depression.”