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Current health status and history of traumatic brain injury among Ohio adults


Introduction Lifetime history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) with loss of consciousness (LOC) is prevalent in 21% of adult, non-institutionalised residents of Ohio. Prior history has been associated with lower incomes, inability to work and disability. The current study sought to evaluate the relationship between lifetime history and adverse health conditions.

Methods Data came from the 2014 Ohio Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System, which included a state-specific module eliciting lifetime history of TBI.

Results Non-institutionalised adults living in Ohio who have had at least one TBI with LOC were more likely to report fair or poor health, more days of poor health, more days when poor health limited activities, being diagnosed with a chronic condition and having less than 7 hours of sleep per night. The relationship with increasing number of TBIs was monotonic, with the likelihood of adverse health increasing as the number increased. A similar relationship was observed for increasing severity of the worst lifetime TBI. Experiencing a first TBI before age 15 was associated with poorer health but was not statistically different than incurring a first after age 15.

Conclusions Adults who have experienced TBI with LOC in their lifetime are two to three times more likely to experience adverse health conditions when compared with same age-matched, sex-matched and race-matched adults without such history. These findings support re-examining the public health burden of TBI in light of lifetime exposure and not just the consequences of an index injury.

  • concussion
  • traumatic brain injury
  • public health
  • surveillance
  • burden of disease

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