This Injury Is Seen More in Massachusetts Than Any Other State

Amino data shows conditions seen disproportionately often in each area.
Emergency room

Emergency room photo via istock.com/MJFelt

When you think of injuries that are unique to Massachusetts, what do you picture? Snow shoveling gone awry? Slipping on icy streets? Celebrating too hard at the Patriots parade?

According to a new analysis from Amino, a company that studies electronic insurance claims, it’s none of the above—and, unfortunately, something quite a bit more serious. The company’s data shows that residents of Massachusetts suffer concussions more than people from any other state in the country.

On Wednesday, Amino released a map showing the injuries seen disproportionately frequently in each state. These are not the most common ailments in each state—nearly everywhere, that dubious honor goes to bruising or open wounds—but rather the conditions seen more in that area than elsewhere in the country.

Based on 244 million health insurance claims filed between 2012 and 2016, Amino found that New Yorkers account for 10 percent of the nation’s fist fights; Missourians suffer a lot of animal bites; and the Mountain States see disproportionate rates of suffocation. While some conditions were seen abnormally frequently in several states, Massachusetts was the only one singled out for concussions.

Why? A 2016 report from Blue Cross Blue Shield, which found that Massachusetts has the country’s highest rate of diagnosed youth concussions, suggests it may have something to do with awareness.

In states where concussion education campaigns are especially strong, patients may be more likely to visit a doctor after a head injury, leading to higher rates of diagnosis and treatment. Massachusetts, with its notoriously strong medical and public health community, likely falls into that camp.

State-level regulations, participation in sports and physical activity, and local healthcare patterns may also affect rates of concussion and diagnosis.

Whatever the reason, the prevalence of concussions here is cause for concern, particularly given research that continues to show ties between head injury and the degenerative brain disease CTE. To stay as healthy as possible, learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion, and protect that noggin as best you can—whether you’re shoveling snow or playing a friendly game of pond hockey.

See the full report here.

common injuries

Graphic courtesy of Amino


Jamie Ducharme Jamie Ducharme, Health Editor at Boston Magazine jducharme@bostonmagazine.com


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