Traumatic Brain Injury–Related Deaths by Race/Ethnicity, Sex, Intent, and Mechanism of Injury — United States, 2000–2017
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Traumatic Brain Injury–Related Deaths by Race/Ethnicity, Sex, Intent, and Mechanism of Injury — United States, 2000–2017

Filetype[PDF-625.66 KB]

  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
    • Description:
      Traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects the lives of millions of Americans each year (1). To describe the trends in TBI-related deaths among different racial/ethnic groups and by sex, CDC analyzed death data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) over an 18-year period (2000-2017). Injuries were also categorized by intent, and unintentional injuries were further categorized by mechanism of injury. In 2017, TBI contributed to 61,131 deaths in the United States, representing 2.2% of approximately 2.8 million deaths that year. From 2015 to 2017, 44% of TBI-related deaths were categorized as intentional injuries (i.e., homicides or suicides). The leading category of TBI-related death varied over time and by race/ethnicity. For example, during the last 10 years of the study period, suicide surpassed unintentional motor vehicle crashes as the leading category of TBI-related death. This shift was in part driven by a 32% increase in TBI-related suicide deaths among non-Hispanic whites. Firearm injury was the underlying mechanism of injury in nearly all (97%) TBI-related suicides among all groups. An analysis of TBI-related death rates by sex and race/ethnicity found that TBI-related deaths were significantly higher among males and persons who were American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) than among all other groups across all years. Other leading categories of TBI-related deaths included unintentional motor vehicle crashes, unintentional falls, and homicide. Understanding the leading contributors to TBI-related death and identifying groups at increased risk is important in preventing this injury. Broader implementation of evidence-based TBI prevention efforts for the leading categories of injury, such as those aimed at stemming the significant increase in TBI-related deaths from suicide, are warranted.
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