Aerobic Fitness and Concussion Outcomes in High School Football
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The purpose of this study was to provide an initial examination of the effects of aerobic fitness and concussion history on concussion risk, symptoms and neurocognitive impairment, and recovery in high school football players. Participants (N=158) completed estimated VO2 max and baseline neurocognitive tests (i.e., ImPACT). Concussed athletes completed ImPACT 24–72 hours post-injury, and again every 48–72 hours until they were asymptomatic or returned to baseline levels. Twenty-three players incurred concussions. The concussion incidence rate was 2.63/1000 exposures. Initial on-field assessments of post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) corresponded to post-concussion symptoms and neurocognitive declines on ImPACT. Previously concussed athletes were 3.71 times more likely to be concussed than those with no concussion history. A trend indicated that athletes low in aerobic fitness might be at greater risk (OR = 1.80) for concussion than those high in aerobic fitness. Aerobic fitness and history of concussion were not related to concussion symptoms and neurocognitive impairment. Athletes with no history of concussion and those initially evaluated with PTA recovered faster than those with a history of concussion and those initially evaluated without PTA. A trend suggested that high aerobic fitness might be related to faster recovery times.
Keywordsconcussion aerobic fitness high school football
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