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Prevalence of Long-Term Disability From Traumatic Brain Injury in the Civilian Population of the United States, 2005

Zaloshnja, Eduard PhD; Miller, Ted PhD; Langlois, Jean A. ScD, MPH; Selassie, Anbesaw W. DrPH

Section Editor(s): Caplan, Bruce PhD, ABPP

Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation: November-December 2008 - Volume 23 - Issue 6 - p 394–400
doi: 10.1097/

Objective To estimate the prevalence of long-term disability associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the civilian population of the United States.

Methods We first estimated how many people experienced long-term disability from TBI each year in the past 70 years. Then, accounting for the increased mortality among TBI survivors, we estimated their life expectancy and calculated how many were expected to be alive in 2005.

Results An estimated 1.1% of the US civilian population or 3.17 million people (95% CI: 3.02–3.32 million) were living with a long-term disability from TBI at the beginning of 2005. Under less conservative assumptions about TBI's impact on lifespan, this estimate is 3.32 million (95% CI: 3.16–3.48 million).

Conclusion Substantial long-term disability occurs among the US civilians hospitalized with a TBI.

From the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Calverton, Md (Drs Zaloshnja and Miller); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Atlanta, Ga (Dr Langlois); and Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC (Dr Selassie).

Corresponding author: Eduard Zaloshnja, PhD, Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, 11720 Beltsville Drive, Suite 900, Calverton, MD 20705 (e-mail:

This work was funded by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The analysis and opinions reported are those of the authors but not necessarily of the funding agency.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.