National High School Athlete Concussion Rates From 2005-2006 to 2011-2012

Am J Sports Med. 2014 Jul;42(7):1710-5. doi: 10.1177/0363546514530091. Epub 2014 Apr 16.


Background: High school athletes are at risk for concussions. Although a previously published study showed an increase in concussion rates for a single school district, it remains unknown if the rate of concussions among high school athletes is increasing nationally.

Purpose: To investigate national high school athlete concussion rates over time.

Study design: Descriptive epidemiologic study.

Methods: The rate of concussions per 1000 athlete-exposures was calculated for academic years 2005-2006 through 2011-2012 using the High School Reporting Information Online sports injury surveillance system.

Results: During the 7-year period of this study, High School Reporting Information Online captured 4024 concussions with overall concussion diagnosis rates increasing significantly from 0.23 to 0.51 (P = .004). Concussion diagnosis rates increased for each of the 9 sports studied, with 5 sports having statistically significant increases over this 7-year period.

Conclusion: The study analysis indicates that national concussion diagnosis rates for high school sports have increased significantly over time.

Keywords: athlete; concussion; epidemiology; high school.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletes / statistics & numerical data*
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Brain Concussion / epidemiology
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Schools
  • Sports / statistics & numerical data*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States / epidemiology