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Increasing Rates of People in the US Seeking Medical Care for Traumatic Brain Injuries

CAT scan

CAT Scan for Traumatic Brain Injuries. (Getty Images)

Headshot Joanna Williams Contact Reporter

NOVEMBER 7, 2018, 12:00 PM

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that from 2001 to 2010, the overall rates of traumatic brain injury (TBI)-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations increased in the United States, while rates of TBI-related deaths decreased.

According to the CDC, an estimated 1.7 million TBIs occur in the United States each year. While the CDC reports do not include data prior to 2001 nor after 2010, some trends emerged within those years. The CDC’s data accounts for population changes in the US because the rates are determined per 100,000 people.




From 2001 to 2010, there was an overall increase in TBI-related emergency department visits, a slight increase in TBI-related hospitalizations, and a slight decrease in TBI-related deaths. TBI-related emergency department visits increased from a rate in 2001 of 420.6 per 100,000 people to 715.7 per 100,000 people in 2010. TBI-related hospitalizations increased from 2001 to 2010 from 82.7 per 100,000 people to 92.7 per 100,000 people. TBI-related deaths decreased from 2001 to 2010 from a rate of 18.5 deaths per 100,000 people to 17.1 deaths per 100,000 people.


Overall rates for combined TBI-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths increased from 2001 to 2010, and the biggest increases were amongst males. The overall rate of TBI amongst men was 26% higher than the rate for women in 2007, but then by 2009, the rate for men was 61% higher than the rate for women.

Rates of Traumatic Brain Injury related Deaths per 100,000 people by Age Group in the United States, 2001-2010

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Years Age 0 - 4 years Age 5 - 14 years Age 15 - 24 years Age 25 - 44 years Age 45 - 64 years Age 65+ years
2001-2002 5.2 3.2 23.4 17.6 17.5 41.2
2003-2004 5.2 3 22 16.8 17.7 42.1
2005-2006 5 2.7 21.4 16.8 18.1 43.8
2007-2008 4.6 2.2 18.7 16 17.9 44.9
2009-2010 4.3 1.9 15.6 14.6 17.6 45.2

From 2001 to 2010, the rates of TBI-related deaths decreased for individuals 44 years of age and younger, remained stable for individuals from 45 to 64 years of age, and increased in individuals 65 years and older.

TBI-related death rates decreased from 2001 to 2010 from 5.2 to 4.3 deaths per 100,000 children aged four and younger, from 3.2 to 1.9 deaths per 100,000 adolescents aged five to 14, from 23.4 to 15.6 deaths per 100,000 individuals aged 15 to 24, and from 17.6 to 14.6 deaths per 100,000 adults aged 25 to 44.

TBI-related death rates remained fairly stable amongst adults aged 45 to 64, from 17.5 deaths per 100,000 in 2001 to 17.6 deaths per 100,000 in 2010.

Over the decade, rates of TBI-related deaths increased from 41.2 to 45.2 deaths per 100,000 individuals aged 65 years and older.


Copyright © 2018, The San Diego Union-Tribune

This article is related to: Health

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