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The global burden of traumatic brain injury: preliminary results from the Global Burden of Disease Project
  1. C Bryan-Hancock*,
  2. J Harrison
  1. Correspondence Flinders University, Research Centre for Injury Studies GPO Box 2100 Adelaide South Australia 5001, Australia


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of disability in all regions of the globe. The global incidence rate of TBI is estimated at 200 per 100 000 people per year; however, this rate is uncertain and a likely underestimate. The Injury Expert Group within the Global Burden of Disease 2005 (GBD) Project aims to provide better estimates of the incidence, prevalence and duration of TBI in each of the 21 GBD regions. One of the two inputs into the estimates is a systematic literature review which was conducted using Medline and Embase databases. The search results were screened for relevance and data quality and the incidence, prevalence and duration of injury estimates were abstracted from the relevant literature. The second input was country specific hospital and survey data. Preliminary results from the literature review show that the incidence, prevalence and expected duration of disability from TBI differ between global regions. Data were scarce for 9 of the 21 global regions, all 9 encompassing developing countries. Obtaining estimates for developing countries is important as preliminary results show higher incidence rates from these regions. For example, the incidence rate of TBI in South Africa has been estimated at 1.5 to 3.5 times that of the estimated global rate. It is necessary to understand the absolute rate and variation of TBI across the globe so that more effective efforts can be made to reduce unnecessary suffering due to TBI throughout the world.

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