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Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation:
doi: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000064
Original Articles

Relation of Repeated Low-Level Blast Exposure With Symptomology Similar to Concussion

Carr, Walter PhD; Polejaeva, Elena BS; Grome, Anna MS; Crandall, Beth BA; LaValle, Christina MS; Eonta, Stephanie E. BS, BA; Young, Lee Ann MA

Section Editor(s): Caplan, Bruce PhD, ABPP; Bogner, Jennifer PhD, ABPP; Brenner, Lisa PhD, ABPP

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Objective: To investigate anecdotal reports suggesting that repeated exposure to low-level explosive blast has myriad health impacts, including an array of neurological effects.

Participants: A total of 184 anonymous survey respondents from military and nonmilitary law enforcement populations (135 exposed to occupational blast and 49 controls).

Design: Survey of self-reported history of occupational exposure to repeated low-level blast (breaching blast) and symptomology similar to concussion.

Results: Findings suggest that number and severity of symptoms increase with history of chronic blast exposure (F = 18.26, P < .001) and that symptoms can interfere with daily activity (t = 2.60, P = .010).

Conclusion: Given the prevalence of repeated exposure to blast among some military and civilian law enforcement occupations, the results of this survey study support a role for blast surveillance programs as well as continued research on health impacts of low-level repeated blast exposure.

Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


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