Traumatic brain injury history and baseline symptoms outweigh sex differences for risk of concussion in a sample of collegiate athletes

Brain Inj - 2023

Race, M. K., Hahn-Ketter, A. E., Spielman, L. A., Selmanovic, E., Sy, K. L. T., Wellington, R. and Dams-O'Connor, K..



OBJECTIVE: To test the hypothesis that a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) prior to the collegiate pre-season is associated with risk for re-injury. We also investigate sex differences, cognitive functioning, and self-reported concussion symptoms and their associations with concussion risk. METHODS: A longitudinal cohort study consisting of collegiate athletes (n = 212) who completed consecutive preseason evaluations (P1 and P2) between 2012 and 2015, averaging 12.9 (SD = 4.2) months apart. RESULTS: There were 40 new concussions recorded between P1 and P2, 21 (53%) of which were among athletes who reported a lifetime history of mild TBI/concussion at P1. New P1-P2 concussions occurred in 24% of female athletes (n = 23) and 15% of male athletes (n = 17). History of TBI and female sex were significant predictors of new concussion between P1 and P2; however, in adjusted models, the inclusion of Impulse Control and PCSS Total symptom scores attenuated the effect of sex on the risk for new injury. CONCLUSION: Collegiate athletes with a lifetime history of TBI had a significantly higher risk of sustaining a subsequent concussion. Pre-season emotional and somatic symptomology may contribute to incident concussion risk. The findings highlight the importance of considering lifetime head injury exposure and baseline symptomatology when interpreting sex differences and evaluating concussion risk.

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