Mild traumatic brain injury in the United States, 1998--2000

Brain Inj. 2005 Feb;19(2):85-91. doi: 10.1080/02699050410001720158.


Primary objective: To determine the incidence and epidemiology of emergency department (ED)-attended mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) in the US.

Research design: Secondary analysis of ED visits for mTBI in the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey for 1998--2000.

Methods and procedures: MTBI defined by International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD9-CM) codes for 'skull fracture', 'concussion', 'intracranial injury of unspecified nature' and 'head injury, unspecified'.

Main outcome and results: The average incidence of mTBI was 503.1/100000, with peaks among males (590/100000), American Indians/Alaska Natives (1,026/100000) and those <5 years of age (1,115.2/100000). MTBI incidence was highest in the Midwest region (578.4/10000) and in non-urban areas (530.9/100000) of the US. Bicycles and sports accounted for 26.4% of mTBI in the 5-14 age group.

Conclusions: The national burden of mTBI is significant and the incidence higher than that reported by others. Possible explanations are discussed. Bicycle and sports-related injuries are an important and highly preventable cause of mTBI underscoring the need to promote prevention programmes on a national level.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Brain Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Brain Injuries / ethnology
  • Brain Injuries / etiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Emergencies / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Indians, North American / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Distribution
  • United States / epidemiology