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Americans Sustain 1.7 Million Traumatic Brain Injuries a Year

CDC finds brain injuries are a contributing factor in nearly a third of injury-related deaths

WEDNESDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a contributing factor in almost one-third of all injury-related deaths, and there are 1.7 million cases of TBI every year in the United States, according to a report published March 8 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report, "Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations, and Death," used 2002 to 2006 data to ascertain the leading causes of TBI and look at age-, race- and gender-specific incidence.

While 80 percent of people who sustained a TBI were treated and discharged from an emergency department, 275,000 patients were hospitalized and there were 52,000 deaths a year, the data revealed. Falls accounted for 35.2 percent of TBIs, while road traffic accidents accounted for 17.3 percent. More males than females sustained a TBI, and the most common age groups for this type of injury were birth to 4 years, adolescents aged 15 to 19 years, and adults aged 65 years and above, the researchers found.

"This report not only presents TBI numbers, it helps to show the impact of this injury nationwide," Richard C. Hunt, M.D., director of CDC's Division for Injury Response, said in a statement. "These data can help to impact the lives of millions of Americans as they serve as building blocks that guide TBI prevention strategies."

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