Incidence of hospital-treated traumatic brain injury in the Oslo population

Neuroepidemiology. 2008;30(2):120-8. doi: 10.1159/000120025. Epub 2008 Mar 11.


Background: The aim of this prospective, population-based study is to present the incidence of hospital-treated traumatic brain injury (TBI) in Oslo, Norway, and to describe the severity of brain injuries and outcome of the patients' acute medical care.

Methods: Data were obtained from hospital admission registers and medical records from May 2005 to May 2006. The initial severity of TBI was measured by the Glasgow Coma Scale. The region is urban with a population of 534,129.

Results: The 445 patients identified represent an annual incidence of 83.3/100,000. The median age was 29 years. The male:female ratio was 1.8:1.0. The highest incidence of TBI hospitalizations was found in the elderly males and the youngest children. The most common causes of TBI were falls (51%) and transport accidents (29.7%). Intracranial lesions were found more often in the elderly. The case fatality rate was 2.0/100 hospitalized patients and was highest in the elderly.

Conclusions: The incidence of hospital-treated TBI in this study is considerably lower than that found in previous studies from Norway and Scandinavia. Despite the apparent decline in TBI hospitalization rates, our findings should also draw attention to the need for more effective preventive programmes related to falls. Studies that assess long-term consequences of TBI in elderly patients are also needed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Brain Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Brain Injuries / therapy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Population Surveillance / methods
  • Prospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Distribution
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data