Research Reports - Risk of depression following traumatic brain injury in a large national sample

Dr. Jennifer S Albrecht, Dr. Lauren BarbourDr. Samuel A Abariga Vani RaoDr. Eleanor M Perfetto

Journal of Neurotrauma. 2018. Published Online:29 May 2018https://doi.org/10.1089/neu.2017.5608

Depression is associated with poorer recover following traumatic brain injury (TBI) yet awareness of depression risk post-TBI among providers and patients is low. The objective of this study was to estimate risk of depression post-TBI among adults aged 18 and older and to identify risk factors associated with developing depression following TBI. We conducted a retrospective, matched cohort study using claims data for privately insured and Medicare Advantage enrollees in a large U.S. health plan. Adults ≥18 years diagnosed with TBI (n= 207,354) with 12 months continuous insurance coverage pre-TBI and 24 months post-TBI were matched to controls without TBI (n=414,708). We identified the presence of depression on any inpatient or outpatient claim occurring during the study period (both before and after TBI). Of the initial 622,062 individuals, 62,963 (10%) had depression pre-TBI and were excluded from incidence calculations. Incidence of depression following TBI was 79.5 (95% confidence interval (CI) 78.5,80.5) per 1,000 person-years compared to 33.5 (95% CI 33.1,34.0) per 1,000 person-years for those without TBI. The adjusted hazard ratio for depression following TBI was 1.83 (95% CI 1.79,1.86). We observed effect modification by sex and age, with males and older adults at increased risk. History of neuropsychiatric disturbances pre-TBI was the strongest predictor of depression post-TBI. Risk of depression increases substantially after TBI. Groups at increased risk include those with a history of neuropsychiatric disturbances, older adults, and men. This study highlights the importance of long-term monitoring for depression following TBI.

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