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Brain Inj. 2007 Sep;21(10):1023-30.

Gender and traumatic brain injury: do the sexes fare differently?

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Department of Emergency Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.



To examine the relationship between gender and cognitive recovery 1 year following traumatic brain injury (TBI).


Patients with blunt TBI were identified from the TBI Model Systems of Care National Database, multi-centre cohort study. The included patients (n = 325) were 16-45 years at injury, admitted to an acute care facility within 24 hours, received inpatient rehabilitation, had documented admission Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) scores, completed neuropsychological follow-up 1 year post-injury and did not report pre-morbid learning problems. Multivariate analyses of variance examined the unadjusted association between gender and six cognitive domains examining attention/working memory, verbal memory, language, visual analytic skills, problem-solving and motor functioning. Analyses of covariance models were constructed to determine if confounding factors biased the observed associations.


Females performed significantly better than males on tests of attention/working memory and language. Males outperformed females in visual analytic skills. Gender remained significantly associated with performance in these areas when controlling for confounding variables.


These results suggest a better cognitive recovery of females than males following TBI. However, future studies need to include non-TBI patients to control for possible pre-injury gender-related differences, as well as to conduct extended follow-ups to determine the stability of the observed differences.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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