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

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


Retrospective cohort study.


Outpatient sports medicine clinic in an academic practice.


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


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.


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).


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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