Study – Three Concussions For Kids Leads To “Considerable” Risk For Further Problems

Adding to this site’s data base of combat sports safety studies, a recent study was published in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine finding that kids who suffer 3 or more concussions in sports are at “significantly greater risk” of developing persistent problems with further concussion.

In the study, titled Association of Concussion History and Prolonged Recovery in Youth, the authors studied 270 participants from youth sports that had concussions. They found that participants with 3 or more prior concussions were at significantly greater risk of developing persistent post concussive symptoms with the authors noting as follows “There was no statistically significant change in PPCS risk for participants with 0, 1 or 2 prior concussions; however, participants with 3 or more prior concussions had a significantly greater risk of PPCS“.

The study’s abstract reads as follows:

Objective: 

To determine the number of prior concussions associated with increased incidence of persistent postconcussive symptoms (PPCS) in a cohort of acutely concussed pediatric patients.

Design: 

Prospective observational cohort study.

Setting: 

Three university-affiliated concussion clinics.

Participants: 

Two hundred seventy participants (14.9 ± 1.9 years, 62% male, 54% with prior concussion) were assessed within 14 days of concussion and followed to clinical recovery. Participants with a second head injury before clinical recovery were excluded.

Measures: and Main Outcome: 

Concussion history, current injury characteristics, recovery time, and risk for prolonged recovery from current concussion.

Results: 

There was no statistically significant change in PPCS risk for participants with 0, 1 or 2 prior concussions; however, participants with 3 or more prior concussions had a significantly greater risk of PPCS. Twelve participants sustained a subsequent concussion after clinical recovery from their first injury and were treated as a separate cohort. Our secondary analysis found that these participants took longer to recover and had a greater incidence of PPCS during recovery from their latest concussion.

Conclusion: 

Pediatric patients with a history of 3 or more concussions are at greater risk of PPCS than those with fewer than 3 prior concussions.


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