Diagnosed concussions among Illinois youth up 83 percent

CHICAGO (AP) — New data show that the percentage of Illinois youth diagnosed with concussions grew by 83 percent between 2010 and 2015.

The Chicago Tribune reports that diagnosed concussions among Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois members between the ages of 10 and 19 increased from a rate of 7.6 per 1,000 members in 2010 to 14 per 1,000 members in 2015.

Blue Cross is Illinois’ largest insurer with over 8 million members.

Blue Cross senior medical director Dr. Stephanie Vomvouras attributes the increase to greater awareness of concussions.

Illinois Department of Public Health data also show an increase in the number of concussions. Over 8,000 Illinois youth ages 10 to 19 were diagnosed with concussions in hospitals in 2015, up from over 6,500 diagnoses in 2010.

The department’s data are limited to concussions diagnosed during hospital visits.