Association between Preseason/Regular Season Head Impact Exposure and Concussion Incidence in NCAA Football

CARE Consortium Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

STEMPER, B. D., J. HAREZLAK, A. S. SHAH, S. ROWSON, J. P.MIHALIK, L. RIGGEN, S. DUMA, P. PASQUINA, S. P. BROGLIO, T. W. MCALLISTER, M. A. MCCREA, and CARE CONSORTIUM INVESTIGATORS. Association between Preseason/Regular Season Head Impact Exposure and Concussion Incidence in NCAA Football. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 54, No. 6, pp. 912-922, 2022. Purpose: Contact sport athletes are exposed to a unique environment where they sustain repeated head impacts throughout the season and can sustain hundreds of head impacts over a few months. Accordingly, recent studies outlined the role that head impact exposure (HIE) has in concussion biomechanics and in the development of cognitive and brain-based changes. Those studies focused on time-bound effects by quantifying exposure leading up to the concussion, or cognitive changes after a season in which athletes had high HIE. However, HIE may have a more prolonged effect. This study identified associations between HIE and concussion incidence during different periods of the college football fall season. Methods: This study included 1120 athlete seasons from six National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I football programs across 5 yr. Athletes were instrumented with the Head Impact Telemetry System to record daily HIE. The analysis quantified associations of preseason/regular season/total season concussion incidence with HIE during those periods. Results: Strong associations were identified between HIE and concussion incidence during different periods of the season. Preseason HIE was associated with preseason and total season concussion incidence, and total season HIE was associated with total season concussion incidence.Conclusions:These findings demonstrate a prolonged effect of HIE on concussion risk, wherein elevated preseason HIE was associated with higher concussion risk both during the preseason and throughout the entire fall season. This investigation is the first to provide evidence supporting the hypothesis of a relationship between elevated HIE during the college football preseason and a sustained decreased tolerance for concussion throughout that season.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)912-922
Number of pages11
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Volume54
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • BIOMECHANICS
  • FOOTBALL (AMERICAN)
  • HEAD IMPACT EXPOSURE
  • HEAD INJURIES/CONCUSSION

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