Objective: To assess mortality, life expectancy, risk factors, and causes of death by age groups among persons who received inpatient traumatic brain injury (TBI) rehabilitation.
Design: Prospective cohort study.
Setting: The TBI Model Systems.
Participants: 8573 individuals injured between 1988 and 2009, with survival status per December 31, 2009, determined.
Interventions: Not applicable.
Main Outcome Measures: Standardized mortality ratio, life expectancy, and cause of death.
Results: Moderate-severe TBI increases risk of mortality compared with the general population in all age groups, with the exception of those 85 years or older at the time of injury. Teenagers to middle-aged adults are at particular risk. Risk factors for death varied by age group and included gender, marital and employment status, year and cause of injury, and level of disability. External causes of death predominate in younger groups. For the youngest male participants in the sample, longevity was reduced up to 16 years.
Conclusion: Risk factors and causes of death varied considerably by age group for individuals with moderate-severe TBI who were receiving acute care rehabilitation. Moderate-severe TBI is a chronic health condition.