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  1. Ivan Barry Pless
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ivan Barry Pless, Westmount, Quebec H3Y2V2, Canada; barry.pless{at}mcgill.ca

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Concussions in Soccer

Although the problem of concussions in hockey and football have attracted increasing concern over the last few years, relatively little attention has been paid to concussions in soccer. A recent review of the evidence by researchers in Toronto shows that the soccer situation is serious but somewhat puzzling. For example, it was unexpected to find a greater incidence of concussions among female soccer players than male. The authors speculate that this may be due to hormonal differences, anatomical factors (such as smaller, weaker neck muscles used to brace the heading impact or simply under-reporting in men. A sports medicine physician who sees 10–15 concussions weekly speculated that chronic subconcussive blows may injure the brain. Prevention involves lighter balls, limits on heading for children and padding goal posts.

Mississippi has second highest gun death rates

US gun violence rates exceed those in most Western industrialised nations. The total of Americans killed by gunfire rose from 31 672 in 2010 to 32 351 in 2011. A study by the Violence Prevention Center showed that states with weak gun violence prevention laws and higher rates of gun ownership, not surprisingly, have the highest gun death rates. In 2011, the five states with the highest gun death rates in the USA were Louisiana, Mississippi, Alaska, Wyoming and Montana. The lowest gun death rates were in Rhode Island, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey. A table of state death rates can be found online.1

Declining deaths on the roads of Britain

Deaths and injuries on Britain's roads are now the lowest since records began.2 The last decline was 2% for all road deaths and 8% for pedal cyclists. There was also a 21% decrease in the number of children killed on the road—the lowest since 1979. Pedestrian deaths fell by 5% and passenger deaths by 2%. Against these encouraging statistics is a 14% rise in motorway deaths that …

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