Research Reports - Associations between history of traumatic brain injury and current cigarette smoking, cannabis use, nonmedical opioid use, and elevated psychological distress

J Neurotrauma. 2014 Dec 11

Ilie G(1), Adlaf EM, Mann RE, Ialomiteanu A, Hamilton H, Rehm J, Asbridge M, Cusimano MD

BACKGROUND: This study describes the prevalence of reported history of traumatic
brain injury (TBI) and its association with reports of current substance use,
cigarette smoking and psychological distress among Canadian adults in a
population sample.
METHODS: A cross-sectional sample of 1,999 Ontario adults aged 18 to 93 were
surveyed by telephone in 2011 as part of the Centre for Addiction and Mental
Health's ongoing representative survey of adult mental health and substance use
in Ontario, Canada. Loss of consciousness for at least five minutes or at least
one overnight hospitalization due to symptoms associated with the head injury
represented minimum criteria for TBI.
RESULTS: An estimated 16.8% (95% CI: 14.8, 19.0) of adults reported a TBI in
their lifetime. Men had higher prevalence of TBI than women. Adults who reported
a history of TBI had higher odds of reported past year daily smoking (AOR=2.15),
using cannabis (AOR=2.80) and nonmedical opioids (AOR=2.90), as well as screened
significantly for elevated psychological distress (AOR=1.97) in the past few
weeks, compared to adults without a history of TBI.
CONCLUSION: The co-occurrence of a history of TBI with current elevated
psychological distress and substance use warrants vigilance among medical
practitioners to assess the possibility of a history of TBI during reviews of the
history leading to the occurrence of these conditions.

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