Study: High School Football Players Experience More Concussion Symptoms, Longer Return-to-Play Times Than Youth League or College Counterparts
Researchers have found that high school and college football players report more concussion symptoms than youth league players, and that youth league players tend to return to play within 24 hours of injury at a higher rate than their older counterparts. What they haven’t figured out is what accounts for the differences, although they have a few ideas.
Authors of a study e-published ahead of print in JAMA Pediatrics tracked athletic trainer-reported diagnoses, symptoms, and return-to-play rates of 1,429 sports-related concussions among the 3 levels of football during the 2012-2014 seasons. The concussion data were drawn from 310 youth football team seasons, 184 high school team seasons, and 71 college team seasons.
Researchers used a symptom cluster system to organize 17 concussion-related symptoms into 4 groups—cognitive, migraine, neuropsychiatric, and sleep—and tallied up all symptoms reported from initial injury to return to play, not just those reported at the time of the concussion.