High School Football and Adult Health

2019-04-17 12:55:22 | BioPortfolio


The primary aim of the study is to determine the effect of playing high school football on self-rated health in late adulthood. This is an observational study that will use data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, a longitudinal cohort of high school graduates from 1957, to compare graduates who played high school football with comparable graduates who did not play football on self-rated health, pain, functional ability, and weight at the age of 65 years.


Data will be used from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS), a long-term study of a random sample of 10,317 men and women who graduated from Wisconsin high schools in 1957 to determine the association between participation in high-school football and self-rated health, pain, and obesity in late adulthood. The WLS is an optimal observational dataset to answer these hypotheses. WLS captures early-life exposures that are important predictors of health and well-being in later life such parental socioeconomic status, occupation, and education level, family structure, and race. It also captures whether study participants participated in high school football and contains detailed measurements of their health in adulthood. WLS provides a robust and longitudinal dataset, overcoming the limitations of prior cross-sectional studies, to compare the health in later adulthood of those who played high school football to those who did not, after carefully controlling for a potential confounders

A matched observational study will be conducted, in which football players and controls will be divided into smaller subgroups which are relatively homogeneous along a range of baseline covariates. The outcomes will be compared within each matched set, after adjusting for residual imbalances in the distribution of these baseline covariates between the football players and controls.

Study Design


Health Impairment


Massachusetts Institute of Technology
United States




University of Pennsylvania

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2019-04-17T12:55:22-0400

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