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Title: Physical Activity and Concussion Outcomes in Youth Ice Hockey Players
Author: Blake, Tracy
Advisor: Emery, Carolyn
Meeuwisse, Willem
Keywords: Epidemiology;Medicine and Surgery;Public Health;Rehabilitation and Therapy
Abstract: Sport participation is one of the most common means of physical activity engagement amongst Canadian children and youth, but exposure to sport also comes with an increased risk of injury. Concussions are the most common specific injury in youth ice hockey, which is played by over a quarter of a million young Canadians every year. There is a gap in the literature regarding the association between physical activity and concussion from a primary prevention perspective. In this document, the association between PA and concussion outcomes were examined in youth ice hockey players. Male Pee Wee (11-12 years old) and Bantam (13-14 years old) ice hockey players who did not meet the physical activity recommendations were more than twice as likely to sustain a concussion as male Pee Wee and Bantam ice hockey players who met the physical activity recommendations. Meeting the physical activity recommendations was not associated with concussion risk amongst male Midget ice hockey players (15-17 years old). There was no significant association between six-week total physical activity volume and concussion risk in male youth ice hockey players, regardless of age. Hourly increases in weekly hockey-specific participation were associated with increased risk of concussion. Hourly increases in 28-day cumulative hockey participation volume were associated with increased concussion risk in 13-17 year-old ice hockey players. There was no association between meeting the physical activity recommendations and the odds of performing exceptionally well or exceptionally poorly on the Standardized Assessment of Concussion and Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment Cognitive Testing. A systematic review revealed that the quantity and quality of the current available evidence evaluating the impact of concussion on cardiac autonomic function is not yet sufficient to support its use as a measure of response to PA following concussion. The implications of these findings on future research were discussed.
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