Trends in the Prevalence of Concussion Reported by US Adolescents, 2016-2020 | Adolescent Medicine | JAMA | JAMA Network
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Research Letter
May 4, 2021

Trends in the Prevalence of Concussion Reported by US Adolescents, 2016-2020

Author Affiliations
  • 1School of Nursing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 2Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 3Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
JAMA. 2021;325(17):1789-1791. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.1538

In 2016, 19.5% of US adolescents reported at least 1 concussion during their lifetime.1,2 While knowledge about concussion and management of these injuries within the adolescent population have increased over the past decade,3 to our knowledge, no national study has tracked whether rates of concussion have declined or increased. This study estimated trends in the lifetime prevalence of self-reported concussion among a national sample of adolescents between 2016 and 2020.

This study uses national cross-sectional data from the 2016-2020 Monitoring the Future (MTF) initiative.4 The MTF initiative is an annual school-based survey of 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-graders conducted between February and June each school year; surveys are administered in classrooms and completed during normal class periods. The MTF stopped data collection for the 2020 survey early on March 14, 2020, due to COVID-19 (a representative sample was still maintained). The student response rates between 2016 and 2020 ranged from 79% to 90%. The University of Michigan institutional review board approved this study. A waiver of informed consent was sent to parents providing them a means to decline their child’s participation.