Tag Archives: sports

Tip sheet provides pointers on concussion-related testing and other concussion research resources

Photo: Courteney via Flickr

Photo: Courteney via Flickr

In what seems to be an eternity ago, I wrote about a pair of studies on concussions for Scientific American. The 2013 piece was interesting to write because it covered two studies whose combined findings revealed as much about the gaps in concussion research as they did clinically useful findings.

A few years after that, I wrote about a panel at the 2016 Health Journalism conference on sports concussions that highlighted some of the questions journalists need to consider when writing about this often contentious research. Continue reading

Covering sports concussions: Some takeaways from the #AHCJ16 panel

Photo: Tara Haelle/AHCJNFL free agent Josh Cribbs captivated attendees with his own experiences, talking about the lengths that players would go to conceal possible concussions and game the tests.

Photo: Tara Haelle/AHCJNFL free agent Josh Cribbs captivated attendees with his own experiences, talking about the lengths that players would go to conceal possible concussions and game the tests.

Conversations about concussions, traumatic brain injury and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) have become more common in recent years as many military veterans return with disabling head injuries and the impact of football injuries on the brain gets more scrutiny in medical research.

The recent movie “Concussion,” starring Will Smith, raised even more awareness of the sports side of the issue. The higher profile in the media about sports head injuries, specifically in football, was the focus of a well-attended panel, “Covering the Concussion Crisis: Research and Real Life,” at the Health Journalism 2016 conference last month. Continue reading

Smokeless tobacco use among teens on the rise, even among athletes

Image derived from SETShots via Flickr

The use of snuff and other smokeless tobacco products by American high school students is up significantly, even among high school athletes typically more inclined than their peers to be health conscious, federal health officials say.

In fact, athletes are more likely to use smokeless tobacco than their non-athlete classmates, according to a recently published study. Continue reading

‘Back-to-school’ a good time to focus on sports-related dental injuries

With millions of school athletes headed back to playing fields across the country, protecting teeth from loss and damage should be on the minds of parents, coaches, teachers and players too.

Ray Padilla spends plenty of time thinking about sports-related dental injuries.

He’s the team dentist for the Los Angeles Galaxy Major League Soccer team, for athletes at the University of California, Los Angeles, and is a consulting dentist for U.S. national and Olympic soccer teams.

A featured speaker at the recent annual meeting of the California Dental Association, Padilla shared his expertise with other dentists, and DrBicuspid.com assistant editor Therese Pablos, who caught up with him for an interview. Continue reading

Baseball’s Schilling blames tobacco for cancer; what do reporters need to know about links?

Photo: Jeff Archer via Flickr

Photo: Jeff Archer via Flickr

The ties between smokeless tobacco and baseball run deep. The immortal Babe Ruth claimed Pinch Hit was his chew of choice (as this short film from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reminds us). Now, World Series-winning pitcher Curt Schilling, who revealed in June that his cancer was in remission but didn’t say what kind of cancer it was, has announced that it is oral cancer. He blames the cancer on his 30 years of chewing tobacco.

The June death of Hall-of-Famer Tony Gwynn served as a reminder of the dangers posed by the habit. Gwynn said he believed the salivary gland cancer that killed him was caused by his longtime use of chewing tobacco.

National, state and local health organizations used the story of Gwynn’s passing to talk about the dangers of smokeless tobacco and likely will use Schilling’s news to raise awareness. Is there an angle in this that you could explore in your own state or community?

Mary Otto, AHCJ’s core topic leader on oral health, has written a tip sheet that includes links to studies on the connections between smokeless tobacco and cancer, where Major League Baseball and the players stand on eliminating chewing tobacco from the sport and more information you can use when reporting on the almost inevitable awareness campaigns. Read it now…