205738 Epidemiology of traumatic brain injury in Pennsylvania, 2000-2006

Monday, November 9, 2009: 10:50 AM

Ronald A. Tringali, PhD , Bureau of Epidemiology, Pennsylvannia Department of Health, Harrisburg, PA
Background: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) imposes a major health burden in the United States, accounting for 1.1 million emergency department visits, 235,000 hospitalizations, and 50,000 deaths per year.

Purpose: To describe TBI hospitalizations in Pennsylvania.

Methods: Data came from acute care hospitals reporting discharge data to the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council from 2000-2006. Persons hospitalized due to TBI were included, but those who died before admission, were treated and released from emergency departments, or were treated at rehabilitation hospitals were not in the database. Variables analyzed include age, gender, mechanism of injury, mortality, and length of stay.

Results: Among 114,915 TBI discharges in Pennsylvania 60.6% occurred among males and 77% among whites. The overall fatality rate was 5.5 %. Hospitalizations were most common in those 75+ years old (24.8%). The most common injury mechanism was falls (41.3%), followed by motor vehicle related (37.1%) and struck by or against (7.4%). Firearms-related head injuries were eleven times more common in African-Americans with TBI than whites (p<.01). Nearly 8% of all TBIs were coded as intentional. Males were three times more likely than females (p<.01) to suffer an assault-related TBI, while African-Americans were more than 11 times more likely than whites to sustain an assault-related TBI (p<.01).

Conclusions: These findings suggest there are ages, gender, and racial disparities among those hospitalized in Pennsylvania with TBI. Preventive measures should focus on those at highest risk of TBI.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to discuss the epidemiology of traumatic brain injury in Pennsylvania

Keywords: Traumatic Brain Injury, Epidemiology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have studied injury trauma as part of my dissertation and I have worked clincially with trauma patients as a clinical nurse specialist. In my current position as epidemiologist I am responsible for the analysis of the traumatic brain injury hospital discharge data for Pennsylvania.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.