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J Neurotrauma. 2013 Dec 15;30(24):2001-13. doi: 10.1089/neu.2013.3047. Epub 2013 Nov 26.

Traumatic brain injury among older adults at level I and II trauma centers.

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1 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai , New York, New York.


Individuals 65 years of age and over have the highest rates of traumatic brain injury (TBI)-related hospitalizations and deaths, and older adults (defined variably across studies) have particularly poor outcomes after TBI. The factors predicting these outcomes remain poorly understood, and age-specific care guidelines for TBI do not exist. This study provides an overview of TBI in older adults using data from the National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB) gathered between 2007 and 2010, evaluates age group-specific trends in rates of TBI over time using U.S. Census data, and examines whether routinely collected information is able to predict hospital discharge status among older adults with TBI in the NTDB. Results showed a 20-25% increase in trauma center admissions for TBI among the oldest age groups (those >=75 years), relative to the general population, between 2007 and 2010. Older adults (>=65 years) with TBI tended to be white females who have incurred an injury from a fall resulting in a "severe" Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) score of the head. Older adults had more in-hospital procedures, such as neuroimaging and neurosurgery, tended to experience longer hospital stays, and were more likely to require continued medical care than younger adults. Older age, injury severity, and hypotension increased the odds of in-hospital death. The public health burden of TBI among older adults will likely increase as the Baby Boom generation ages. Improved primary and secondary prevention of TBI in this cohort is needed.

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