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Prior Head Injury With Loss of Consciousness Linked to Disability

Almost half have disability, with highest prevalence seen in the domains of mobility and work productivity

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WEDNESDAY, May 26, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Almost half of adults aged 40 years and older in the United States with prior head injury have disability in at least one domain of functioning, according to a study published online May 26 in Neurology.

Andrea L.C. Schneider, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and colleagues provided prevalence estimates of disability associated with prior head injury with loss of consciousness and assessed the correlation with disability in a cross-sectional analysis of 7,390 participants aged 40 years and older from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2011 to 2014.

Sixteen percent of the participants had a history of head injury with loss of consciousness. The researchers found that the prevalence of disability in at least one domain of functioning was higher for participants with a history of head injury versus those without head injury (47.4 versus 38.6 percent); the highest prevalence of disability was noted in the domains of mobility and work productivity. There was a significant positive association for head injury with disability in all domains assessed on the standardized questionnaire in fully adjusted models, but not with upper-extremity grip strength.

"This substantial burden of disability suggests that research into how to better care for and improve the functioning of people with concussions over the long term should be a priority for both public health and for planning for individuals," Schneider said in a statement.

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