Repetitive Hits May Predispose Athletes to Concussion
Among college football players, number, severity of head impacts may affect risk for concussion.
HealthDay News — Repetitive head impact exposure appears to be a predisposing factor for the onset of concussion, according to a study published online Oct. 22 in the Annals of Biomedical Engineering.
Brian D. Stemper, PhD, from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and colleagues quantified repetitive head impact exposure among 50 concussed NCAA Division I college football athletes compared to controls who were matched for team and position group.
The researchers found that 43% of concussed athletes had the most severe head impact exposure on the day of injury compared with the matched control group. Similarly, 46% of concussed athletes had the most severe head impact exposure for the season to the date of injury compared with the matched control group. Nearly three-fourths (72%) of all concussed athletes had the most or second most severe head impact exposure compared with the matched control group even when the researchers accounted for date of injury or season to date of injury. The associations were stronger for athletes who participated in a greater number of contact activities, with 77% of athletes who participated in ≥10 days of contact activities having greater head impact exposure than the matched control group.
"The clinical implication of these findings supports contemporary trends of limiting head impact exposure for college football athletes during practice activities in an effort to also reduce risk of concussive injury," the authors write.