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Traumatic Brain Injury in the General Population

Incidence, Mental Health Comorbidity, and Functional Impact

Hale, Andrew C., PhD*†; Bohnert, Kipling M., PhD*†; Grekin, Rebecca, PhD†‡; Sripada, Rebecca K., PhD*†

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: January 2019 - Volume 207 - Issue 1 - p 38–42
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000915
Brief Reports

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a relatively prevalent and burdensome condition with significant public health cost; however, epidemiological studies of TBI in the United States have rarely used nationally representative samples or included measures of functioning. Data were obtained from the third wave of the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Of the 36,309 individuals surveyed, 193 (0.53% weighted) reported a past-year TBI. Results from weighted logistic regression modeling indicated that prior active duty military status, mood disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, and nicotine use disorders were associated with greater odds of TBI. Annual household income greater than $20,000 was associated with lower odds of TBI. Regarding functioning, TBI was associated with greater impairment on SF-12 scales measuring mental and physical health and the organization subscale of the Executive Function Index. Results suggest that many individuals in the US population experience TBI each year and that such injuries are associated with impairment across multiple domains.

*VA Center for Clinical Management Research;

Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan; and

Severe Mental Illness Treatment Resource and Evaluation Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Send reprint requests to Andrew C. Hale, PhD, VA Center for Clinical Management Research, Ann Arbor, MI 48109. E-mail:

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