Research Reports - Associations between a history of traumatic brain injuries and current cigarette smoking, substance use, and elevated psychological distress

J Neurotrauma. 2015 Jul 15;32(14):1130-4. doi: 10.1089/neu.2014.3619. Epub 2015
Apr 28.

Ilie G(1,)(2), Adlaf EM(3), Mann RE(3), Ialomiteanu A(3), Hamilton H(3), Rehm
J(3), Asbridge M(4), Cusimano MD(1,)(2).

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.
A cross-sectional sample of 1999 Ontario adults 18-93 years of age were surveyed
by telephone in 2011 as part of the Center 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 5 min or at least one
overnight hospitalization resulting from symptoms associated with the TBI injury
represented minimum criteria for TBI. An estimated 16.8% (95% confidence
interval, 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 (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=2.15), using
cannabis (AOR=2.80) and nonmedical opioids (AOR=2.90), as well as screened
significantly for recent elevated psychological distress (AOR=1.97) in the past
few weeks, compared to adults without a history of TBI. 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

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