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Brain Injury Statistics

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The following statistics about traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are from the Centers for Disease Control.

  • 1.7 million people sustain a TBI every year; of those, 52,000 die, 275,000 are hospitalized and 1, 365,000 are treated and released from an emergency department.
  • TBI is the leading cause of death and disability among children and young adults.
  • Leading causes of TBI are: falls (28 percent); motor vehicle accidents (20 percent; struck by/against events (19 percent), and assaults (11 percent).
  • Males are 1.5 times as likely as females to sustain a TBI.
  • Age groups with the highest risks for TBI are 0 to 4 year-olds and 15 to 19 year- olds.
  • Approximately 475,000 TBIs occur annually among children aged 0 to 14.
  • African Americans have the highest death rate from TBI.
  • 5.3 million Americans currently live with disabilities resulting from traumatic head injury.
  • Every 21 seconds someone in the United States sustains a TBI.
  • More than 80,000 of the brain injuries sustain permanent, irreversible damage.
  • Head injuries are the leading cause of death in young adults and children.

Sports-Related Head Injuries

  • There are 300,000 sports-related concussions in the United States each year; most occur in contact sports, such as football, soccer, baseball, boxing and hockey.
  • In football, brain injuries account for 65 to 85 percent of fatalities.
  • Nearly 90 percent of all boxers have sustained some type of brain injury.

Head Injuries Related to Acts of Violence

  • Assaults and violent acts are responsible for more than 10 percent of all reported head injuries in the nation.
  • Shaken baby syndrome, firearms, lightening strikes and direct blows to the head are some of the most prevalent causes of these injuries.

Head Injuries by Age

  • Children aged 0 to 4 years, older adolescents aged 15 to 19 years, and adults aged 65 years and older are most likely to sustain a TBI. 
  • Almost half a million emergency department visits for TBI are made annually by children aged 0 to 14 years.
  • Adults aged 75 years and older have the highest rates of TBI-related hospitalization and death.
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