Prognostic value of demographic characteristics in traumatic brain injury: results from the IMPACT study

J Neurotrauma. 2007 Feb;24(2):259-69. doi: 10.1089/neu.2006.0028.


Outcome following traumatic brain injury (TBI) is not only dependent on the nature and severity of injury and subsequent treatment, but also on constituent characteristics of injured individuals. We aimed to describe and quantify the relationship between demographic characteristics and six month outcome assessed by the Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) after TBI. Individual patient data on age (n = 8719), gender (n = 8720), race (n = 5320), and education (n = 2201) were extracted from eight therapeutic Phase III randomized clinical trials and three surveys in moderate or severe TBI, contained in the IMPACT database. The strength of prognostic effects was analyzed with binary and proportional odds regression analysis and expressed as an odds ratio. Age was analyzed as a continuous variable with spline functions, and the odds ratio calculated over the difference between the 75 th and 25 th percentiles. Associations with other predictors were explored. Increasing age was strongly related to poorer outcome (OR 2.14; 95% CI 2.00-2.28) in a continuous fashion that could be approximated by a linear function. No gender differences in outcome were found (OR: 1.01; CI 0.92-1.11), and exploratory analysis failed to show any gender/age interaction. The studies included predominantly Caucasians (83%); outcome in black patients was poorer relative to this group (OR 1.30; CI 1.09-1.56). This relationship was sustained on adjusted analyses, and requires further study into mediating factors. Higher levels of education were weakly related to a better outcome (OR: 0.70; CI 0.52-0.94). On multivariable analysis adjusting for age, motor score, and pupils, the prognostic effect of race and education were sustained. We conclude that outcome following TBI is dependent on age, race, to a lesser extent on education, but not on gender.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Brain Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Brain Injuries / therapy*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Racial Groups / statistics & numerical data
  • Sex Factors
  • Treatment Outcome