March is Brain Injury Awareness MonthThroughout the month, we'll be sharing selected excerpts from our sister imprint Demos Medical's title Brain Injury Medicine, Second Edition.

Today's excerpt is adapted from the chapter "Traumatic Brain Injury Epidemiology and Public Health Issues," by Victor G. Coronado, Lisa C. McGuire, Mark Faul, David E. Sugerman, and William S. Pearson

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an important public health problem in the United States that affects people regardless of age, sex, or race/ ethnicity.

  • Approximately 1.7 million TBI-related hospitalizations, ED visits, and deaths occur every year in the United States.
  • Between 3.6 and 5.3 million Americans live with the consequences of TBI.
  • From 2000 to the fourth quarter of 2010, 202,281 TBIs were identified in the US military.
  • The numbers of US soldiers with TBI steadily increased during the past decade from 10,963 in 2000 to 29,252 in 2009.
  • From October 1, 2001 when the war started in Afghanistan to March 31, 2009, 25,737 war veterans were identified in the VA system as having been evaluated or treated for a condition possibly related to a TBI.
  • In the United States, the major overall causes of TBI are falls (affecting mainly young children and older adults) and MVT accidents (affecting mainly teens and young adults).
  • The estimated cost of TBI in 2010 dollars is approximately $76.5 billion; of these:
    • $11.5 billion were caused by direct medical costs.
    • $64.8 billion were caused by indirect costs.
    • These dollar figures do not account for the current and life time cost incurred by TBI survivors of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Globally, the incidence and prevalence of TBI varies by country and region.

  • Both, the incidence and prevalence of TBI is higher in developing regions or countries (e.g., SSA, LAC, India) than in the EME and MEC regions and China. Worldwide, countries, including the United States, lack surveillance systems able to produce timely and reliable patient-level estimates of the incidence and prevalence of TBI.
  • Countries should consider strengthening or developing and implementing such systems to prevent this potentially disabling condition. Prevention efforts should be directed to the entire population. Special attention, however, should be placed on groups at risk for TBI.

For more information on TBI, read Brain Injury Medicine, Second Editionavailable now from Demos Medical.

Brain Injury Medicine cover