Fast Facts: Traumatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime brain bandaid TBI

  • Anyone can be impacted by a TBI: car accident victims, athletes, domestic abuse victims, children, and soldiers. Young males between the ages of 15 and 24 have the highest rate of injury[1].
  • Auto accidents cause 50 percent of all brain injuries; falls account for 28 percent; assaults and violent acts 7 percent; and 15 percent other causes[2].
  • More than one million children sustain a traumatic brain injury each year. In the U.S., traumatic brain injuries are the leading cause of death and disability for children and adolescents[3].

Some Statistics

  • Every 21 seconds, one person in the U.S. sustains a traumatic brain injury[4].
  • 1.7 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury each year[5]. Of those affected, 80,000 experience the onset of long-term disability[6],[7].
  • Between 2002-2006, U.S. TBI rates were highest in children aged 0 to 4 years, in adolescents aged 15 to 19 years, and in adults aged 65 years and older[8].
  • TBI rates are higher for males than females across every age group in the U.S.[9]
  • 5.3 million Americans – approximately two percent of the population – are living with a disability from a TBI[10].
  • The total direct and indirect cost of TBI exceeds more than $76.5 billion per year in the U.S.[11]
  • Incidence of TBI in other industrialized countries is comparable to incidence in the U.S., approximately 150 to 300+ incidents per 100,000 people[12], [13].

Living with TBI

  • Once a TBI occurs, medical treatment focuses on preventing further injury and promoting rehabilitation[14].
  • TBI can have a debilitating impact on a person’s life, possibly necessitating daily living assistance[15].
  • Long-term effects of TBI include functional changes that affect thinking, sensation, language and/or emotion, as well as physical changes that affect overall mobility and motor skills[16].
  • TBI can cause epilepsy and increase the risk for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other brain disorders[17].

[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Accessed 1/15/14.

[2] ibid

[3] National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities

[4] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Accessed 1/15/14.

[5] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Accessed 3/1/14.

[6] Brain Injury Association of America Accessed 1/19/14.

[7] Faul M, Xu L, Wald MM & Coronado VG. (2010). Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations and Deaths 2002– 2006. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control

[8] ibid

[9] ibid

[10] Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: A Report to Congress. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed 1/15/14.

[11] Traumatic Brain Injury Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Accessed 1/15/14.

[12] Granacher, R. (2003). Traumatic brain injury: methods for clinical and forensic neuropsychiatric assessment. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

[13] Tagliaferri F, Compagnone C, Korsic M, Servadei F, and Kraus J. (2006). A systematic review of brain injury epidemiology in Europe. Acta Neurochir. 148: 255-268.

[15] Traumatic Brain Injury: Hope Through Research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

[16] ibid

[17] ibid