Three or more prior concussions were associated with adverse health outcomes in former collegiate football players without professional football exposure, according to results published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine. Researchers had 204 former collegiate football players who played at least one season of football from 1999 to 2001 in the NCAA and had no professional football exposure complete a general health survey that assessed lifetime concussion history. Results showed 84.3% of participants reported a concussion history. Researchers found 22.1% of participants reported a physical composite score and 39.2% reported a mental composite score of less than 50, indicating worse health than the U.S. national average.
Results showed a higher prevalence of moderate/severe depression among participants who reported three or more concussions vs. those with no concussions. Participants who reported three or more concussions had a higher prevalence of having a physical component score less than 50 compared with participants with one or two concussions, but not when compared with participants who reported no concussions.