Age at First Concussion Influences the Number of Subsequent Concussions

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9 Scopus citations


Background: Individuals who sustain their first concussion during childhood may be at greater risk of sustaining multiple concussions throughout their lifetime because of a longer window of vulnerability. This article aims to estimate the association between age at first concussion and number of subsequent concussions. Patients and Methods: A total of 23,582 collegiate athletes from 26 universities and military cadets from three military academies completed a concussion history questionnaire (65% males, age 19.9 ± 1.4 years). Participants self-reported concussions and age at time of each injury. Participants with a history of concussion (n = 3,647, 15.5%) were categorized as having sustained their first concussion during childhood (less than ten years old) or adolescence (≥10 and ≤18 years old). Poisson regression was used to model age group (childhood, adolescence) predicting the number of subsequent concussions (0, 1, 2+). A second Poisson regression was developed to determine whether age at first concussion predicted the number of subsequent concussions. Results: Participants self-reporting their first concussion during childhood had an increased risk of subsequent concussions (rate ratio = 2.19, 95% confidence interval: 1.82, 2.64) compared with participants self-reporting their first concussion during adolescence. For every one-year increase in age at first concussion, we observed a 16% reduction in the risk of subsequent concussion (rate ratio = 0.84, 95% confidence interval: 0.82, 0.86). Conclusions: Individuals self-reporting a concussion at a young age sustained a higher number of concussions before age 18. Concussion prevention, recognition, and reporting strategies are of particular need at the youth level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-24
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Neurology
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • head trauma, head injury
  • mild traumatic brain injury
  • sport
  • youth injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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