Year: 2022 Source: JAMA Network Open. (2022). 5(7), e2219934. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.19934 SIEC No: 20220491

Importance  Racial, ethnic, and sex disparities for concussion incidence and suicide attempts in youth have been reported, but data on the interaction of these variables in a large national data set are lacking. Understanding how race and ethnicity interact with sex and concussion to influence suicide attempts could yield critical information on the sociocultural impact of brain injury and mental health in US youth.

Objective  To examine the associations of concussion history, race and ethnicity, and sex with reported suicide attempts among adolescents.

Design, Setting, and Participants  This population-based cross-sectional cohort study used data from US Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) survey respondents between 2017 and 2019. Data were analyzed from May 2021 to January 2022.

Exposures  Respondents reported sport- or recreation-related concussion (yes or no), depression (yes or no), and suicide attempt (yes or no) over the previous 12 months, along with race and ethnicity (categorized as American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black, Hispanic/Latino, multiracial, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, and White), and sex (male or female).

Main Outcomes and Measures  Two Chi-Square Automatic Interaction Detection (CHAID) decision tree models were built. The first was suicide attempt with depression history (SA-DEP), the second was suicide attempt without depression history (SA–NO DEP). CHAID uses risk factors (eg, number of concussions, race and ethnicity, sex) to divide the study sample into a series of subgroups that are nested within each other. Risk ratios (RRs) and 95% CIs were calculated for each subgroup to provide effect estimates.

Results  A total of 28 442 youths aged up to 18 years (mean [SD] age, 14.6 [3.0] years; 14 411 [50.7%] female) responded to the survey. The CHAID decision trees revealed a complex interaction between race, sex, and concussion history for attempting suicide, which differed by depression history (overall accuracy, 84.4%-97.9%). Overall, depression history was the variable most strongly associated with SA (adjusted odds ratio, 11.24; 95% CI, 10.27-12.29). Concussion was the variable most strongly associated with SA-DEP (RR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.20-1.51; P < .001). Black, Hispanic/Latino, or multiracial race and ethnicity were associated with increased risk for SA-DEP compared with others (RR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.38-1.84; P < .001). American Indian or Alaska Native, Black, and Hispanic/Latino race and ethnicity were associated with increased risk for SA–NO DEP (RR, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.54-2.32; P < .001) compared with the remaining population.

Conclusions and Relevance  These findings suggest that clinicians should consider race, ethnicity, and sex when evaluating the role of sport- or recreation-related concussion on suicide risk among US youth.