Primary objective: To examine the epidemiology of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in Finland in 1991-2005.
Research design: Nationwide population based data of hospitalized and fatal TBI collected from the national registers of Finland. The incidence, age and gender distribution, aetiology, external causes, cursory outcome and mortality are presented.
Methods and procedures: The data were collected from the National Hospital Discharge Register of Finland and from the official cause-of-death register of Statistics Finland.
Main outcome and results: The average incidence of hospitalized TBI was 101/100,000 population and the mortality rate 18.1/100,000. The incidence increased by 59.4% in the patients aged 70 years or older while the incidence decreased by 2.4% in the younger age groups. The mortality rate decreased in men. The most common external causes were falls. The oldest patients needed 6.8-times longer stay in the hospital than the youngest. After discharge 54% of the patients needed at least occasional care.
Conclusions: TBI prevention should be focused to the main groups at risk. The need for further care, rehabilitation and increasing the awareness of TBI is obvious.