Research Reports - Causes and trends in traumatic brain injury for United States adolescents

J Neurotrauma. 2012 Sep 18

Asemota AO, George BP, Bowman SM, Haider AH, Schneider EB

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability among
U.S. adolescents. The authors sought to determine causes and trends for
TBI-related hospitalizations in the U.S. adolescent population (10-19 years). The
authors identified common causes and trends of adolescent TBI, overall and within
two-year age categories, using hospitalization data from 2005 to 2009 in the
Nationwide Inpatient Sample. The leading cause of adolescent TBI overall was
motor vehicle occupant accidents (35%), which are also the leading cause in
14-15, 16-17, and 18-19 year age groups. Falls were the cause of most TBI in the
10-11 year (23%) and 12-13 year (20%) groups. For both unintentional and
intentional mechanisms of injury, there was evidence of increasing
hospitalizations with increasing age. From 2005 to 2009, the overall annual
incidence of adolescent TBI hospitalizations decreased 21% from an estimated 75.5
to 59.3 per 100,000 (p<0.001). These rates declined for mild, moderate, and
severe TBI, and decreased for two-year age groups, except 18-19 year olds. For
TBI attributable to motor vehicle occupants, rates declined 27% from 27.6 to 20.2
per 100,000 (p<0.001). Motor vehicle occupant injuries account for 42% of
in-hospital mortality in adolescent TBI; however, firearms are the most lethal
mechanism with 46% proportional mortality among victims of firearm-related TBI.
Rates of adolescent TBI-related hospitalizations have decreased overall. Motor
vehicle accidents and firearms were identified as leading causes of injury and
mortality for adolescent TBI and represent potential targets for intervention.

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