Recently, a study performed by JAMA Neurology, which is a peer-reviewed medical journal, was published showing that “there was no statistically or clinically significant harmful association between playing football in high school and increased cognitive impairment or depression later in life, on average.”
The study used the “Wisconsin Longitudinal Study among men who graduated high school in 1957” and consisted of 3,904 men with an average age of 64.4 years. So the representative sample of past athletes only came from the state of Wisconsin. However, as we can see, there appeared to be no definitive difference between high school football players and their nonplaying counterparts from the mid-1950s in this state. You can read all about the specifics of the study on JAMA’s website.
In the age of concussion awareness, the hard-hitting nature of football has come under fire. Does this study alleviate those concerns?
In one breath you might think that the answer is yes. However, as CBS Sports reports on the study, the major flaw in hastily drawing this conclusion is that the game of football has changed drastically over the last 60 years.
“Players are faster, hit harder and tackles often emphasize leading with the helmet over wrapping up (despite league efforts at all levels to curb the practice).”
This is certainly true. But on the other hand, equipment and helmets are far more advanced than they’ve ever been. In fact, many companies and research institutes are introducing state-of-the-art technology and scientific studies into protection-oriented equipment. Does this offset the increased violence of the game?
Obviously we won’t know the answer to this question for many years to come. But at the very least, this study, despite being very preliminary, bodes well for our football playing youth.
At Sport Scope and EDGE Replay, we love high school football and were happy to see these results. As a company dedicated to advancing technology in sports, we love seeing technology-driven organizations taking any sport at the high school level seriously.
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Posted on July 21, 2017 at 11:30 AM