Influence of Sex and Previous Concussion History on Postconcussive Recovery in Young Athletes

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Abstract

Objective:

To determine whether concussed female athletes with a previous history of concussion have longer postconcussive recovery than that of male counterparts.

Design:

Retrospective cohort study.

Setting:

Outpatient sports medicine clinic in an academic practice.

Participants:

Male and female youth, high school, and collegiate athletes (n = 431; ages = 10-21 years) who sustained a sport-related concussion (SRC).

Interventions:

The clinical courses of young athletes treated for concussion by 1 provider at an outpatient sports medicine clinic were retrospectively reviewed.

Main Outcome Measures:

Recovery time was compared after an SRC with relationship to sex and previous concussion history.

Results:

When comparing male and female athletes with a previous history of concussion, there were no differences found (P = 0.820) in SRC recovery time. Regardless of previous concussion history, males recovered faster from an SRC compared with their female counterparts (P = 0.0002). Without regard to sex, those with no previous history of concussion recovered faster than those with a previous concussion history, although the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.668). Athletes with a previous history of concussion were more likely to require neuropsychology referral than those with no previous concussion history (P = 0.021), and females, without regard to concussion history, were more likely to require neuropsychology referral than males (P = 0.001).

Conclusions:

A previous concussion history does not appear to significantly influence postconcussive recovery time in young athletes, although it does increase the probability of neuropsychological referral. Without regard to a previous concussion history, young female athletes recover slower than males from concussion and are also more likely to require neuropsychological referral.

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