Research Reports - Sex differences in concussion rates and time loss from participation

J Athl Train. 2016 Mar;51(3):189-94. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-51.3.05. Epub 2016
Mar 7.

Covassin T(1), Moran R(1), Elbin RJ(2).

CONTEXT: Epidemiologic studies have identified differences in concussion
incidence between the sexes. However, few authors to date have updated injury
rates (IRs) and time loss between male and female concussed athletes.
OBJECTIVE: To examine sex differences in IRs and time loss in concussed National
Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) athletes.
DESIGN: Descriptive epidemiologic study.
SETTING: National Collegiate Athletic Association athletics.
PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS: A total of 1702 concusssed NCAA athletes,
consisting of 903 females and 779 males participating in soccer, basketball, ice
hockey, lacrosse, softball, or baseball over a 5-year period from 2004-2005
through 2008-2009.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Using the NCAA Injury Surveillance Program, athletic
trainers reported concussions, athlete-exposures (AEs), and time loss across 10
NCAA sports. An IR is the number of injuries in a particular category divided by
the number of AEs in that category.
RESULTS: During the study period, 1702 concussions were reported during 4 170 427
AEs for an overall total of 5.47 per 10 000 AEs. In sex-comparable sports,
females had a 1.4 times higher overall concussion IR than males (IRs = 4.84 and
3.46, respectively), with greater rates in women's baseball/softball, basketball,
ice hockey, and soccer than men. Female soccer and basketball players also
displayed more time loss after concussion compared with male basketball and
soccer players.
CONCLUSIONS: Female athletes sustained a higher rate of concussion and, in all
sports except lacrosse, had greater time loss from concussion than male athletes.
Additional research is needed on sex differences in time loss after concussions. 

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