To examine variation in head impact exposure (HIE) by age and sex in youth soccer.
Prospective cohort study.
Youth soccer athletes (11-14 years old) in local clubs.
Age and sex.
Head impact exposure measured using adhesive-mounted accelerometers during 1 month of soccer.
Forty-six youth athletes (54% female) participated. No athlete reported a concussion during the study. More males than females had at least 1 head impact ≥15 g (P = 0.02). Of those who sustained a head impact above the 15-g threshold (57%), females sustained HIE of greater magnitude than males (median 47.4 g vs 33.3 g, P = 0.04). Eighty-five percent of athletes on U14 teams had at least 1 head impact ≥15 g compared with 15% of athletes on U12 teams (P < 0.001). Poisson regression stratified by sex and controlling for team-suggested age effects were significant only for females (P = 0.02). There was significant variation in HIE by team. There were no decrements in concussion symptoms, health-related quality of life, or neuropsychological testing after 1 month of soccer play.
There is significant variation in HIE in youth soccer, which seems to be influenced by age and sex. Further studies are needed to better understand potential significance for injury prevention.
*Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development, Seattle Children's Research Institute, Seattle, Washington;
†Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; and
‡Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, Seattle, Washington.
Corresponding Author: Sara P. D. Chrisman, MD, MPH, CW8/6, PO Box 5371, Seattle, WA 98145 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Supported by the Seattle Children's Hospital Academic Enrichment Fund and the Seattle Pediatric Concussion Research Collaborative.
The authors report no conflicts of interest.
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This study was approved by the Western Institutional Review Board, #20140764. All youth subjects completed assent and parents completed parental permission forms.
Received March 29, 2017
Accepted July 06, 2017