A study has been conducted by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in which they found that the athlete with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are more likely to compete in team sports than individual sports, which could also increase their risk of injury.
The study, presented at the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, analyzed more than 850 athletes who competed in a variety of sports over a five-year period at The Ohio State University.
“We expected athletes with ADHD to gravitate towards individual sports, like golf or tennis, where they have more control, there is a little bit more repetitiveness and they don’t have to worry about the responsibilities or roles of teammates or opponents, but what we found was our athletes with ADHD were twice as likely to compete in team
sports, and their rate of participation in contact sports , like football, hockey and lacrosse, was 142 percent higher.” stated Dr. James Brochers, Director of the Division of Sports Medicine at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. Researchers also found that the athletes were facing with severe injuries which although had no direct relation with ADHD.
“We know in young people with ADHD that they do have an increase in impulsivity and a little bit more reckless behavior. We are not saying that ADHD led to injury, but given its known characteristics, it may be putting these athletes at higher risk, especially in contact sports,” said Dr. Trevor Kitchin, Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellow
The researchers also found that just over 5.5 percent of athletes were diagnosed and treated for ADHD, which is about the same percentage found in the general student population. Studies have shown that participating in sports can help mitigate symptoms of ADHD in children and the benefits of trying and participating in sports
outweigh any potential risks.
“One of the most important things is having an open dialogue between the athlete, parents, coaches and athletic trainers so that they can work together to give the athlete the resources necessary to be successful in
their sport,” Kitchin said. ”This study is a great first step in understanding our student athlete population, the type of sports they play and other clinical conditions so we can better help those student athletes with the sport they are playing,” Brochers said.
Hence, from this study it was concluded that athletes with ADHD are more inclined towards team sports as compared to individual sports and as a result of participation in team sports, their risk of injury is increased.