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J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2016 Sep;81(3):486-92. doi: 10.1097/TA.0000000000001118.

Sex differences in mortality following isolated traumatic brain injury among older adults.

Author information

1
From the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health (J.S.A., G.S.S.), University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; Department of Anesthesiology (M.M.), Divisions of Trauma Anesthesiology and Surgical Critical Care, R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; Department of Surgery (D.M.S.), Division of Surgical Critical Care, R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland; Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (L.S-W.), University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, Baltimore, Maryland; and Shock, Trauma and Anesthesiology Research (STAR) - Organized Research Center (G.S.S.), National Study Center for Trauma and Emergency Medical Services, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Older adults have the highest rates of hospitalization and mortality from traumatic brain injury (TBI), yet outcomes in this population are not well studied. In particular, contradictory reports on the protective effect of female sex on mortality following TBI may have been related to age differences in TBI and other injury severity and mechanism. The objective of this study was to determine if there are sex differences in mortality following isolated TBI among older adults and compare with findings using all TBI. A secondary objective was to characterize TBI severity and mechanism by sex in this population.

METHODS:

This was a retrospective cohort study conducted among adults aged 65 and older treated for TBI at a single large Level I trauma center from 1996 to 2012 (n = 4,854). Individuals treated for TBI were identified using International Classification of Disease, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes. Isolated TBI was defined as an Abbreviated Injury Scale score of 0 for other body regions. Our primary outcome was mortality at discharge.

RESULTS:

Among those with isolated TBI (n = 1,320), women (45% of sample) were older (mean [SD], 78.9 [7.7] years) than men (76.8 [7.5] years) (p < 0.001). Women were more likely to have been injured in a fall (91% vs. 84%; p < 0.001). Adjusting for multiple injury severity measures, female sex was not significantly associated with decreased odds of mortality following isolated TBI (odds ratio, 1.01; 95% confidence interval, 0.66-1.54). Using all TBI cases, adjusted analysis found that female sex was significantly associated with decreased odd of mortality (odds ratio, 0.73; 95% confidence interval, 0.59-0.89).

CONCLUSION:

We found no sex differences in mortality following isolated TBI among older adults, in contrast with other studies and our own analyses using all TBI cases. Researchers should consider isolated TBI in outcome studies to prevent residual confounding by severity of other injuries.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Prognostic/epidemiologic study, level IV.

PMID:
27280939
PMCID:
PMC5001875
DOI:
10.1097/TA.0000000000001118
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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