NEW YORK (AP) – A new report says two dozen high school football players died in recent years from traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, and the annual death count has been growing slightly.

But such deaths remain rare, and it’s not clear whether the count is rising because of more widespread attention and better reporting.

The study also counted four such deaths in college football players over the same time span, 2005 through 2014.

Join The Conversation On The KDKA Facebook Page
Stay Up To Date, Follow KDKA On Twitter

The article was led by researchers at the University of North Carolina. It was released Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Most deaths occurred during games and were tied to tackling or being tackled. The study echoes other research that found such deaths were most common in running backs and linebackers.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)