Sex differences in reporting of concussion symptoms in adults.
To examine differences in concussion symptom reporting between female and male adults considering current psychological symptoms such as anxiety and depression and pre-injury factors in order to identify sex differences which may guide treatment efforts. This prospective study is part of the North Texas Concussion Registry (ConTex). Subjects (N = 132) age 19 to 78 years had sustained a concussion within 30 days of clinic visit. The independent variable was sex and covariates included age, ethnicity, current anxiety and depression ratings, history of attention deficit disorder, history of headache/migraine, and time to clinic. The dependent variables were 22 post-concussion symptoms as measured by the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool-5 Post-Concussion Symptom Scale. : Analysis of covariance and ordinal logistic regression results both revealed that females had a greater likelihood of reporting increased symptom severity for 15/22 concussion symptoms. The largest risk ratios (effect size) in symptom reporting between sexes (higher symptoms in females) included: feeling more emotional 4.05 (0.72), fatigue or low energy 4.05 (0.72), sensitivity to light 3.74 (0.69), headache 3.65 (0.57), balance problems 3.31 (0.53), pressure in head 3.06 (0.51), and neck pain 2.97 (0.60). Adult females in our sample reported higher levels of many concussion symptoms than males and showed an increased risk of developing these same symptoms following concussion. Examination of the magnitude of sex difference in concussion symptom reporting will better inform medical staff to anticipate and address symptoms that may present greater challenges for adult females.