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Am J Sports Med. 2018 Jul;46(9):2253-2262. doi: 10.1177/0363546518777244. Epub 2018 Jun 1.

Comparison of Head Impact Exposure Between Male and Female High School Ice Hockey Athletes.

Author information

1
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.
2
School of Kinesiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.
3
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Concussion incidence rates are higher among female than male athletes in sports played by both sexes. Biomechanical factors may play a role in observed sex-based differences in concussion incidence.

PURPOSE:

To compare head impact counts and magnitudes during sports participation between male and female high school ice hockey athletes.

STUDY DESIGN:

Cohort study; Level of evidence, 2.

METHODS:

Over 2 seasons, a total of 21 male and 19 female ice hockey athletes from a single high school were instrumented with impact-sensing adhesive skin patches worn over the mastoid process while participating in games and practices. The impact sensors recorded the number, magnitude (peak linear acceleration [PLA, g] and peak angular acceleration [PAA, rad/s2] of the head; Head Impact Telemetry severity profile [HITsp]), and location of impacts sustained during each instrumented session. Head impact counts, magnitudes, and locations were compared between the sexes.

RESULTS:

Males experienced more head impacts than females during games (mean ± SD: 7.7 ± 3.0 vs 5.3 ± 2.0, P < .001) as well as practices (4.3 ± 1.6 vs 3.8 ± 1.1, P = .002). Mean impact magnitudes were greater for females for PLA (18.8 g ± 1.7 g vs 17.1 g ± 1.6 g, P < .001) and HITsp (19.7 ± 1.5 vs 17.7 ± 1.4, P < .001), while mean PAA was greater for males (3057.6 ± 2.0 rad/s2 vs 2778.3 ± 2.7 rad/s2, P < .001). Female athletes experienced higher PLA, PAA, and HITsp magnitudes for the top 10%, 5%, and 1% of impacts (all P < .050). Males experienced more impacts to the front (34.3%) and back (31.7%) of the head, while females experienced more impacts to the side (43.1%) and top (4.1%) (χ2 = 295.70, df = 3, P < .001).

CONCLUSION:

While male high school ice hockey athletes experienced more head impacts than females, impact magnitudes tended to be higher for females.

KEYWORDS:

X-Patch; concussion; female athletes; head impact biomechanics; ice hockey

PMID:
29856659
DOI:
10.1177/0363546518777244

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