Prevalence of Concussions and Chronic Headaches in Female Collegiate Athletes


  • Michaela Tsuha University of Hawaii - John A Burns School of Medicine
  • Morgan Liu University of Hawaii - John A Burns School of Medicine
  • Kristen Hori University of Hawaii - John A Burns School of Medicine
  • Loren Yamamoto, MD, MPH, MBA University of Hawaii - John A Burns School of Medicine



Female collegiate soccer athletes, Concussions, Headaches, women's sports medicine, female athlete


OBJECTIVE: This study assesses concussion rates and current headaches in female soccer versus non-contact sport athletes who have progressed to higher levels of competition in college.

METHODS: Soccer and non-contact sport female athletes from four universities completed questionnaires on concussion history and current headaches.

RESULTS: Soccer athletes had a significantly higher rate of concussions compared to non-contact athletes (50% versus 9%, p<0.0001), but there was not a significant difference in current headaches between the two groups (20% soccer; 32% non-contact). Among soccer athletes, 56% of goalkeepers, defenders, and forwards collectively reported a concussion, while only 23% of midfielders reported a concussion (p=0.03). Rates of reported headaches were significantly higher in soccer athletes with <15 years of experience (38% versus 11%, p=0.009).

CONCLUSION: Collegiate female soccer athletes had a higher rate of concussions versus non-contact-sport athletes, but no difference in rate of current headaches existed. Soccer athletes with <15 years of experience reported higher rates of headaches.

Author Biographies

  • Morgan Liu, University of Hawaii - John A Burns School of Medicine

    Morgan Liu is a fourth-year medical student at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine. She received her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and psychology from Carnegie Mellon University.

  • Kristen Hori, University of Hawaii - John A Burns School of Medicine

    Kristen Hori is a third-year medical student at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine. She received her bachelor’s degree in molecular and cellular biology from John Hopkins University.

  • Loren Yamamoto, MD, MPH, MBA, University of Hawaii - John A Burns School of Medicine

    Loren Yamamoto is a Pediatric Emergency Medicine-certified physician at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children and a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology and went on to complete a Masters of Public Health and Masters of Business Administration at the University of Hawaii. Loren Yamamoto completed medical school as well as his Pediatric residency and Pediatric Emergency Medicine fellowship at the University of Hawaii. He has over 120 articles in peer-reviewed journals, 90 abstracts, 80 national research/educational presentations, 75 electronic publications, and 40 reference and textbook chapters.


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Original Research

How to Cite

Prevalence of Concussions and Chronic Headaches in Female Collegiate Athletes. (2022). Journal of Women’s Sports Medicine, 2(1), 30-40.

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