Objective: This study determined whether self-reported Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), identified in a community sample and occurring up to 60 years previously, is associated with current psychiatric symptoms, suicidality, and psychologic well-being.
Study design and setting: Three age cohorts (20-24, 40-44, 60-64) were randomly sampled from the cities of Canberra and Queanbeyan, Australia, yielding a total of 7,485 participants. The samples were administered scales measuring anxiety, depression, suicidality, positive and negative affect, personality traits, and physical health status.
Results: Of the total sample, 5.7% reported history of TBI involving loss of consciousness for at least 15 min, occurring an average of 22 years previously. History of TBI was associated with increased symptoms of depression, anxiety, negative affect, and suicidal ideation.
Conclusion: History of TBI is a risk factor for psychiatric morbidity. The effect is greatest in young adults, and occurs up to several decades subsequent to the occurrence of TBI.