Traumatic brain injury in older adults: epidemiology, outcomes, and future implications

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2006 Oct;54(10):1590-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2006.00894.x.


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a significant problem in older adults. In persons aged 65 and older, TBI is responsible for more than 80,000 emergency department visits each year; three-quarters of these visits result in hospitalization as a result of the injury. Adults aged 75 and older have the highest rates of TBI-related hospitalization and death. Falls are the leading cause of TBI for older adults (51%), and motor vehicle traffic crashes are second (9%). Older age is known to negatively influence outcome after TBI. Although geriatric and neurotrauma investigators have identified the prognostic significance of preadmission functional ability, comorbidities, sex, and other factors such as cerebral perfusion pressure on recovery after illness or injury, these variables remain understudied in older adults with TBI. In the absence of good clinical data, predicting outcomes and providing care in the older adult population with TBI remains problematic. To address this significant public health issue, a refocusing of research efforts on this population is justified to prevent TBI in the older adult and to discern unique care requirements to facilitate best patient outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brain Injuries / complications
  • Brain Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Brain Injuries / therapy
  • Humans
  • Treatment Outcome