Purpose To examine the associations between lifetime history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) with loss of consciousness (LOC) and current disability status among Ohio adults.
Methods Using data from a state-specific module in the 2014 Ohio Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), we examined the effects of number, severity and time of TBI with LOC experienced in one’s lifetime on any and each type of current disability using multivariable logistic regressions.
Results Of 6998 adults included, 1325 (weighted, 21.7%) reported lifetime history of TBI with LOC and 1959 (weighted, 23.7%) reported currently having one or more disabilities (i.e., vision, cognition, mobility, self-care and independent living). Adults with a history of TBI showed significantly greater odds of any disability compared to adults with no history [AOR=2.5 (95% CI: 2.0–3.1)]. The likelihood of having any and each type of disability significantly increased as the number of TBIs with LOC or the severity of worst TBI increased. Experiencing a first TBI with LOC before or after age 15 were each associated with significantly greater odds of having any disability compared to those without such history.
Conclusions Lifetime history of TBI with LOC is significantly associated with disability among Ohio adults. Further research on the natural course of the relationships between TBI and subsequent disability, and preventive strategies is warranted.
Contribution to Injury Prevention Our findings highlight the importance of understanding number, severity, and time of TBI experienced in lifetime as contributing factors to current disability status. This information is vital for policy makers in projecting future demands on injury prevention and disability programs.
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