Background: Little is known about the incidence and prevalence of traumatic brain injury (TBI), particularly for infants, children and young adults.
Primary objective: The purpose of this study was to provide an accurate estimate of the incidence and prevalence of TBIs for individuals between 0-25 years of age.
Method and procedures: A birth cohort of 1265 individuals was used, for which information regarding TBI events, both hospitalized and non-hospitalized, had been recorded.
Main outcomes and results: The average incidence for this age group ranged from 1.10-2.36 per 100 per year, with an overall prevalence of approximately 30%. The most common source of injury was falls for individuals 0-14 years of age and contact sports and motor vehicle accidents for 15-25 year olds. Approximately one third of the individuals who experienced a TBI went on to have one or more additional injuries.
Conclusions: The incidence rates reported here are much higher than those previously found. It is clear that TBIs constitute a major health issue and therefore it is important to have accurate information to enable planning for primary healthcare services and to inform prevention programmes.