Traumatic brain injuries in children and young adults: a birth cohort study from northern Finland

Neuroepidemiology. 2007;29(1-2):136-42. doi: 10.1159/000110741. Epub 2007 Nov 7.


Aims: Incidence and mortality rates of traumatic brain injury (TBI) were investigated by using the Northern Finland Birth Cohort. This cohort provides a valuable source of data from the population born in 1966 (n = 12,058) in the 2 northernmost provinces of Finland.

Methods: The cohort was followed for 34 years, and data were gathered from the Finnish Hospital Discharge Register and the Registry for Causes of Death by Statistics Finland.

Results: The annual incidence of and mortality from TBI were 118 and 14/100,000, respectively. Case fatality was 12%. An estimated prevalence of TBI at the age of 34 years was 269/100,000. Peak occurrences were observed at the age of 6-7 years in both genders and at the age of 18-23 years in men. The proportion of TBI mortality out of total mortality was 12%. Young men aged 16-34 years had 10-fold proportionate mortality from TBI compared to boys aged <or=15 years. Alcohol drinking was associated with a particularly prominent number of intentional injuries in young men.

Conclusion: Incidence and mortality rates of TBI vary according to age and gender. Peaks occur in children at the age of school entry and in men at the age of 18-23 years. Children have mild injuries, whereas the injuries of young men are frequently intentional and fatal and associated with alcohol drinking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Brain Injuries / mortality*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mortality
  • Prevalence
  • Registries
  • Sex Distribution