Epidemiological analysis of concussions in youth ice hockey players: A national emergency room database study

Varag Abed, Gregory S. Hawk, Roy Akarakian, Austin V. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate the epidemiology of concussions in youth ice hockey players. Methods: The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) database was used to gather data. Concussions occurring during ice hockey participation in youth patients (4–21 years old) from 2012 to 2021 was gathered. Concussion mechanisms were grouped into 7 categories: head-to-player, head-to-puck, head-to-ice, head-to-board/glass, head-to-stick, head-to-goal post, and unknown. Hospitalization rates were also tabulated. Linear regression models were used to assess changes in yearly concussion and hospitalization rates over the study period. Results from these models were reported using parameter estimates [with 95% confidence intervals (CI)] and the estimated Pearson correlation coefficient. Additionally, logistic regression was used to model the risk of hospitalization across the different cause categories. Results: A total of 819 ice hockey related concussions were analyzed between 2012 and 2021. The average age of our cohort was 13.4 years, with 89.3% (n = 731) of concussions occurring in males. The incidence of head-to-ice, head-to-board/glass, head-to-player, and head-to-puck concussion mechanisms decreased significantly over the study period (slope estimate = −2.1 concussions/year [CI: (−3.9, −0.2)], r = −0.675, p = 0.032), (slope estimate = −2.7 concussions/year [CI: (−4.3, −1.2)], r = −0.816, p = 0.004), (slope estimate = −2.2 concussions/year [CI: (−3.4, −1.0)], r = −0.832, p = 0.003), and (slope estimate = −0.4 concussions/year [CI: (−0.62, −0.09)], r = −0.768, p = 0.016), respectively. Majority of patients were discharged from the emergency department (ED) to their home, as only 20 people (2.4%) were hospitalized over our study period. The majority of concussions were due to head-to-ice (n = 285, 34.8%), followed by head-to-board/glass (n = 217, 26.5%) and head-to-player (n = 207, 25.3%). The most common cause for hospitalizations due to concussions was head-to-board/glass (n = 7, 35%), followed by head-to-player (n = 6, 30%) and head-to-ice (n = 5, 25%). Conclusion: The most common mechanism of youth ice hockey concussions was head-to-ice in our 10-year study period, while head-to-board/glass was the most common cause of hospitalizations. IRB: This project did not require review by the institutional review board.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-134
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
StatePublished - May 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Inc.


  • Concussions
  • Epidemiology
  • Ice hockey
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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