On Review, NFL Concussion Research Ruled a Fumble — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
March 25, 2016

On Review, NFL Concussion Research Ruled a Fumble

By Joe Elia

Edited by André Sofair, MD, MPH, and William E. Chavey, MD, MS

The National Football League's internal research that played down the game's concussion risks "was far more flawed than previously known," according to a New York Times report.

Times reporters examined the NFL-sponsored research, which was published in Neurosurgery in a series of 13 articles. The research omitted more than 10% of concussions, according to an examination of the League's own injury reports.

One reason for the omissions was that at least one team, the Dallas Cowboys, did not report any concussions to the researchers during the 6-year study, yet NFL injury reports document four concussions to the team's quarterback during the same period. Other teams had reporting gaps lasting "years at a time." (The published research based its risk calculations on all games played, whether the teams submitted data or not.)

The Times reports that the studies' lead author, the epidemiologist, and the then-editor of the journal were unavailable for comment.

Reader Comments (3)

James Scozzafava, MD, FRCPC Physician, Neurology

Disgraceful! The degree of corruption within the NFL administration is beyond comprehension. Roger Goddell is without moral compass. I thought his dishonesty in the "Deflategate" farce was unconscionable, but this is beyond the scope of mere dishonesty.

James Donahue, MD Physician, Geriatrics, Retired

It's not a fumble: It's at least 3 flagrant fouls and you know it.
Shame on you.
Researchers lying due to publication pressure and money.
Plain and simple. Between Trump/Cruz and the American health care system incl. NEJM we deserve zero intelligent respect.
They learned from Big Tobacco and of course the unmentioned King of All, the shining gem: Big Pharma. They pay only certain researchers and manipulate study design and if that doesn't work: the data itself. The "Ethical" Pharmaceutical industry. How do you sleep at night? We blow away the world in ludicrous health care costs and inexcusable research. Shame. No other word.

Edward Framer, Ph.D.hi Other Healthcare Professional, Other, Health Promotion Provider

Disturbing? Yes, Very Disturbing!

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