Health status, not head injury, predicts concussion symptoms after minor injury

Am J Emerg Med. 2009 Feb;27(2):182-90. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2008.01.054.


Objective: Postconcussion (PC) syndrome etiology remains poorly understood. We sought to examine predictors of persistent PC symptoms after minor injury.

Methods: Health status, symptom, and injury information were obtained on a sample of patients presenting to the emergency department after minor injury. Postconcussion and cognitive symptoms were assessed at 1, 3, and 12 months.

Results: Among 507 patients enrolled, 339 had head injury. Repeated-measures logistic regression modeling of PC and cognitive symptom presence across time indicated that baseline mental health status and physical health status were most predictive of persistent symptoms. In contrast, head injury presence did not predict persistent PC syndrome.

Discussion: Baseline mental health status and physical health status were associated with persistent PC syndrome after minor injury, but head injury status was not. Further studies of PC syndrome pathogenesis are needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Concussion / diagnosis*
  • Brain Concussion / etiology*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / complications*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychometrics
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Syndrome