Study Shows Brand/Type of Helmet and Mouthguard May Not Significantly Reduce Risk of Sport-Related Concussion in High School Football Players
NEW ORLEANS, La. – Alison Brooks, MD, MPH, a sports medicine physician member of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) and faculty member at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, will present, “Incidence of Sport-Related Concussion in High School Football Players: Effect of Helmets, Mouthguards, Previous Concussions, Years Playing Experience” today at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, La.
Dr. Brooks co-led a prospective cohort study of 2,288 high school football players over two seasons (2012 and 2013) to investigate whether a particular brand of helmet or type of mouthguard affects an athlete’s risk of suffering from sport-related concussion. According to a position statement released by the AMSSM last year on Concussion in Sport, concussion, a traumatic head injury, occurs 3.8 million times per year.
The study compared the helmet brands of Riddell, Schutt and Xenith with purchase years of 2003 through 2013 and generic versus specialized or custom mouthguard types against the incidence and severity (days lost) for each sport-related concussion sustained. Chi-square and t-tests were used to analyze incidence and Wilcoxon Rank Sum tests were used to determine severity. In total, 204 players sustained 208 sport-related concussions, causing them to miss a median of 14 days.
While helmet brand or age did not significantly affect the incidence or severity of sport-related concussion, prior concussion and the use of specialized or custom mouthguards were associated with an increased incidence of the injury. This is in contrast to manufacturers’ claims that a specific brand of helmet or type of mouthguard can significantly reduce the risk of concussion. Final multivariate regression analysis is in progress.
About the AMSSM Annual Meeting: More than 1,400 sports medicine physicians from the United States and abroad come together to address advances and challenges in sports medicine through lectures and research. Learn more at https://www.amssm.org/ConferencesDetails.php?IDconf=58&Past=.
About the AMSSM: AMSSM is a multi-disciplinary organization of 2,500 sports medicine physicians dedicated to education, research, advocacy and the care of athletes of all ages. The majority of AMSSM members are primary care physicians with fellowship training and added qualification in sports medicine who then combine their practice of sports medicine with their primary specialty. AMSSM includes members who specialize solely in non-surgical sports medicine and serve as team physicians at the youth level, NCAA, NFL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, MLS and NHL, as well as with Olympic teams. By nature of their training and experience, sports medicine physicians are ideally suited to provide comprehensive medical care for athletes, sports teams or active individuals who are simply looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle. www.amssm.org