CONTEXT: Adolescent obesity and sports-related concussion are rising in prevalence, yet there is minimal research exploring the relationship between these two conditions. OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of body mass index (BMI) percentile on duration of recovery and reported symptoms after sports-related concussion in adolescents. DESIGN: Retrospective chart review at a regional concussion program located at an academic medical center. Medical records of all patients aged 13 to 18 years treated from March 2006 through January 2012 were reviewed. Two hundred fifty-two patients met the inclusion criteria of sports-related concussion and having BMI data. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Outcome variables included reported emotional symptoms, sleep-related symptoms, physical symptoms (headache), and time to recovery after a concussion. Explanatory variables in this analysis were BMI percentile and sex. RESULTS: More male patients were obese and overweight than were females (42% vs 27%, p = 0.02). There was no statistically significant difference in recovery time between obese and overweight patients and others. Obese and overweight patients were more likely than healthy-weight patients to report symptoms of irritability (p = 0.05) and impulsivity (p = 0.01), and less likely to report headache (p = 0.03). CONCLUSION: After concussion, irritability and impulsivity may be more likely than headaches in overweight and obese patients. There was no difference in recovery time between obese and healthy-weight teens. These findings may have importance in the evaluation, treatment, and anticipatory guidance of patients with concussions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalThe Permanente journal
StatePublished - Jul 12 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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