Concussion incidence and risk factors in the National Hockey League between the 2005-2006 and 2011-2012 seasons
Izraelski, Jason Saul
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Ice hockey has been identified as a sport with a high risk for concussions, and given the injury's serious health consequences, it has become a major concern within the sporting community. While research is available at the youth and junior levels, there are few reports at the professional level describing concussion incidence and risk factors. The purpose of the present study was to provide a descriptive analysis of concussion as well as identify concussive risk factors for a sample of National Hockey League players. Data on player position, age, height, weight, average time on ice (ATOI) and reported concussions were collected from The Hockey News for the 2005-2006 to 2011-2012 seasons. Chi square analysis revealed significant effects for season x2(6, N= 6145) = 28.67,p = .00, age x2(2, N= 6145) = 5.70,p = .05 and ATOI i'C6, N = 6145) = 241.53,p = .00. One-way ANOVA revealed reported concussion differences amongst the seven seasons for age: F (6, 6138) = 2.40,p =.03, weight: F (6, 6138) = 2.85 p = .01 and concussion incidence: F (6, 6138) = 4.80,p = .00. Logistic regression revealed increased risk of concussion for the 2010-2011 (1.7 times) and 2011-2012 (2.12 times) seasons as well as the 15-20 minute (2.64 times) ATOI category. The results indicate that concussion incidence is rising in the NHL and that ATOI is a risk factor for concussive injury. Implications of these findings are discussed.