Estimated Age of First Exposure to American Football and Neurocognitive Performance Amongst NCAA Male Student-Athletes

A Cohort Study

Care Consortium Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Repetitive head impacts in young athletes are potentially detrimental to later life (e.g., age 50 + years) neurological function; however, it is unknown what the short-term effects (e.g., age 20 years) are in collegiate student-athletes. Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of the estimated age of first exposure to American tackle football participation on neurocognitive performance and symptom severity scores in collegiate student-athletes. Methods: We used a cohort study in which neurocognitive performance was assessed using the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) test in 4376 male athletes (age 19.3 ± 1.5 years, mass 96.3 ± 20.3 kg, height 185.0 ± 7.4 cm). Athletes were grouped by sport participation [American football (n = 3462) or non-contact (n = 914)] and estimated age of first exposure [< 12 years (n = 3022) or ≥ 12 years (n = 1354)]. The outcome measures were the four primary cognitive scores and the symptom severity score from ImPACT. We assessed primary outcomes across groups, controlling for age, learning accommodations, and concussion history. Results: Neurocognitive performance was not associated with the estimated age of first exposure-by-group interaction. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that participation in American tackle football before age 12 years does not result in neurocognitive deficits in college. Therefore, we suggest the following: the consequences of early exposure to repetitive head impacts do not manifest by college, the ImPACT test was not sensitive enough to identify the effects of an earlier estimated age of first exposure, or there is no association between an earlier estimated age of first exposure and neurocognitive functioning. Future longitudinal studies are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-487
Number of pages11
JournalSports Medicine
Volume49
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 13 2019

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Football
Athletes
Cohort Studies
Students
Head
Neurobehavioral Manifestations
Sports
Longitudinal Studies
Age Groups
History
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Cite this

Estimated Age of First Exposure to American Football and Neurocognitive Performance Amongst NCAA Male Student-Athletes : A Cohort Study. / Care Consortium Investigators.

In: Sports Medicine, Vol. 49, No. 3, 13.03.2019, p. 477-487.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Background: Repetitive head impacts in young athletes are potentially detrimental to later life (e.g., age 50 + years) neurological function; however, it is unknown what the short-term effects (e.g., age 20 years) are in collegiate student-athletes. Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of the estimated age of first exposure to American tackle football participation on neurocognitive performance and symptom severity scores in collegiate student-athletes. Methods: We used a cohort study in which neurocognitive performance was assessed using the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) test in 4376 male athletes (age 19.3 ± 1.5 years, mass 96.3 ± 20.3 kg, height 185.0 ± 7.4 cm). Athletes were grouped by sport participation [American football (n = 3462) or non-contact (n = 914)] and estimated age of first exposure [< 12 years (n = 3022) or ≥ 12 years (n = 1354)]. The outcome measures were the four primary cognitive scores and the symptom severity score from ImPACT. We assessed primary outcomes across groups, controlling for age, learning accommodations, and concussion history. Results: Neurocognitive performance was not associated with the estimated age of first exposure-by-group interaction. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that participation in American tackle football before age 12 years does not result in neurocognitive deficits in college. Therefore, we suggest the following: the consequences of early exposure to repetitive head impacts do not manifest by college, the ImPACT test was not sensitive enough to identify the effects of an earlier estimated age of first exposure, or there is no association between an earlier estimated age of first exposure and neurocognitive functioning. Future longitudinal studies are warranted.",
author = "{Care Consortium Investigators} and Caccese, {Jaclyn B.} and DeWolf, {Ryan M.} and Kaminski, {Thomas W.} and Broglio, {Steven P.} and McAllister, {Thomas W.} and Michael McCrea and Buckley, {Thomas A.} and Hoy, {April Marie} and Hazzard, {Joseph B.} and Kelly, {Louise A.} and Ortega, {Justus D.} and Nicholas Port and Margot Putukian and Langford, {T. Dianne} and Benjamin, {Holly J.} and Clugston, {James R.} and Schmidt, {Julianne D.} and Luis Feigenbaum and Eckner, {James T.} and Mihalik, {Jason P.} and Miles, {Jessica Dysart} and Scott Anderson and Master, {Christina L.} and Micky Collins and Kontos, {Anthony P.} and Chrisman, {Sara P.O.} and Alison Brooks and Jonathan Jackson and Gerald McGinty and Kenneth Cameron and Adam Susmarski and Stefan Duma and Steve Rowson and Miles, {Christopher M.} and Dykhuizen, {Brian H.} and Laura Lintner",
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T1 - Estimated Age of First Exposure to American Football and Neurocognitive Performance Amongst NCAA Male Student-Athletes

T2 - A Cohort Study

AU - Care Consortium Investigators

AU - Caccese, Jaclyn B.

AU - DeWolf, Ryan M.

AU - Kaminski, Thomas W.

AU - Broglio, Steven P.

AU - McAllister, Thomas W.

AU - McCrea, Michael

AU - Buckley, Thomas A.

AU - Hoy, April Marie

AU - Hazzard, Joseph B.

AU - Kelly, Louise A.

AU - Ortega, Justus D.

AU - Port, Nicholas

AU - Putukian, Margot

AU - Langford, T. Dianne

AU - Benjamin, Holly J.

AU - Clugston, James R.

AU - Schmidt, Julianne D.

AU - Feigenbaum, Luis

AU - Eckner, James T.

AU - Mihalik, Jason P.

AU - Miles, Jessica Dysart

AU - Anderson, Scott

AU - Master, Christina L.

AU - Collins, Micky

AU - Kontos, Anthony P.

AU - Chrisman, Sara P.O.

AU - Brooks, Alison

AU - Jackson, Jonathan

AU - McGinty, Gerald

AU - Cameron, Kenneth

AU - Susmarski, Adam

AU - Duma, Stefan

AU - Rowson, Steve

AU - Miles, Christopher M.

AU - Dykhuizen, Brian H.

AU - Lintner, Laura

PY - 2019/3/13

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N2 - Background: Repetitive head impacts in young athletes are potentially detrimental to later life (e.g., age 50 + years) neurological function; however, it is unknown what the short-term effects (e.g., age 20 years) are in collegiate student-athletes. Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of the estimated age of first exposure to American tackle football participation on neurocognitive performance and symptom severity scores in collegiate student-athletes. Methods: We used a cohort study in which neurocognitive performance was assessed using the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) test in 4376 male athletes (age 19.3 ± 1.5 years, mass 96.3 ± 20.3 kg, height 185.0 ± 7.4 cm). Athletes were grouped by sport participation [American football (n = 3462) or non-contact (n = 914)] and estimated age of first exposure [< 12 years (n = 3022) or ≥ 12 years (n = 1354)]. The outcome measures were the four primary cognitive scores and the symptom severity score from ImPACT. We assessed primary outcomes across groups, controlling for age, learning accommodations, and concussion history. Results: Neurocognitive performance was not associated with the estimated age of first exposure-by-group interaction. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that participation in American tackle football before age 12 years does not result in neurocognitive deficits in college. Therefore, we suggest the following: the consequences of early exposure to repetitive head impacts do not manifest by college, the ImPACT test was not sensitive enough to identify the effects of an earlier estimated age of first exposure, or there is no association between an earlier estimated age of first exposure and neurocognitive functioning. Future longitudinal studies are warranted.

AB - Background: Repetitive head impacts in young athletes are potentially detrimental to later life (e.g., age 50 + years) neurological function; however, it is unknown what the short-term effects (e.g., age 20 years) are in collegiate student-athletes. Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of the estimated age of first exposure to American tackle football participation on neurocognitive performance and symptom severity scores in collegiate student-athletes. Methods: We used a cohort study in which neurocognitive performance was assessed using the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) test in 4376 male athletes (age 19.3 ± 1.5 years, mass 96.3 ± 20.3 kg, height 185.0 ± 7.4 cm). Athletes were grouped by sport participation [American football (n = 3462) or non-contact (n = 914)] and estimated age of first exposure [< 12 years (n = 3022) or ≥ 12 years (n = 1354)]. The outcome measures were the four primary cognitive scores and the symptom severity score from ImPACT. We assessed primary outcomes across groups, controlling for age, learning accommodations, and concussion history. Results: Neurocognitive performance was not associated with the estimated age of first exposure-by-group interaction. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that participation in American tackle football before age 12 years does not result in neurocognitive deficits in college. Therefore, we suggest the following: the consequences of early exposure to repetitive head impacts do not manifest by college, the ImPACT test was not sensitive enough to identify the effects of an earlier estimated age of first exposure, or there is no association between an earlier estimated age of first exposure and neurocognitive functioning. Future longitudinal studies are warranted.

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