Association of playing high school football with cognition and mental health later in life

Published in JAMA Neurology ,2017

Recommended citation: Deshpande, S.K., Hasegawa, R.B., Rabinowitz, A.R., Whyte, J., Roan, C.L., Tabatabaei, A., Baiocchi, M., Karlawish, J.H., Master, C.L., and Small, D.S. (2017). " Association of playing high school football with cognition and mental health later in life " JAMA Neurology . 74(8): 909 - 918.

This observational study used data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, which has followed a random sample of high school graduates from the class of 1957. Using a combination of matching, covariance adjustment, and multiple control groups, we found no evidence of clinically or statistically significant adverse effects of playing football on different measures of cognitive and mental health at ages 65 and 72 in this cohort.

Download paper here

Our pre-analysis protocol is available here

A letter to the editor submitted in response to the original article and our reply is available here

After this paper was published, my co-authors and I wrote an op-ed in Scientific American, which may be found here.

We were also featured on a Knowledge@Wharton interview, which may be found here.