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Physical activity and concussion risk in male youth ice hockey players
  1. Tracy A Blake1,
  2. Willem H Meeuwisse1,
  3. Patricia K Doyle-Baker1,2,
  4. Brian L Brooks3,4,5,6,
  5. Luz Palacios-Derflingher1,7,
  6. Carolyn A Emery1,4
  1. 1Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
  2. 2Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
  3. 3Neurosciences Program, Alberta Children’s Hospital, Calgary, Canada
  4. 4Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
  5. 5Departments of Paediatrics and Clinical Neurosciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
  6. 6Department of Psychology, Faculty of Arts, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
  7. 7Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada

Abstract

Objective To evaluate the association between self-reported physical activity (PA) and concussion incidence in male youth ice hockey players.

Design pooled data from three prospective cohort studies.

Setting Community ice hockey rinks and sport medicine clinics.

Participants PeeWee (ages 11–12), Bantam (ages 13–14), and Midget (ages 15–17) male youth ice hockey players (n=1208).

Assesment of risk factors Participants reported six-week physical education and extra-curricular sport participation history upon study entry. Concussion incidence rate ratios [IRRs (95% CI)] associated with 1). total six-week PA volume, and 2). meeting the Canadian PA recommendations of one hour of daily PA (≥42 hours/six weeks) were calculated using multivariable Poisson regression (covariates: age, competition level, concussion history). Models were adjusted for hockey exposure, and cluster by team, study year and city (α<0.05).

Outcome measure Medically-diagnosed concussions during the study period.

Main results Total PA volume did not affect concussion incidence in male youth ice hockey players [IRR: 0.996 (95% CI: 0.990–1.003]. Concussion incidence was higher in male ice hockey players who did not meet the PA recommendations versus those who met the PA recommendations amongst PeeWee [IRR: 2.94 (95% CI: 1.29–6.66)] and Bantam [IRR: 2.18 (95% CI: 1.12–3.94)] participants, but not amongst Midget participants [IRR: 1.37 (95% CI: 0.72–2.59)]. There was no evidence of confounding or modification by competition level or concussion history.

Conclusions While total PA volume was not associated with concussion risk, PeeWee and Bantam male youth ice hockey players whose six-week PA history was below the PA recommendations were at greater risk of concussion. This research will inform future studies examining the mechanism of this association.

Competing interests None.

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