CDC: TBI-related deaths declining, yet remain high

May 11, 2011

Atlanta – Traumatic brain injuries caused approximately 53,000 deaths annually between 1997 and 2007, according to research released May 6 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Over the 10-year surveillance period, the TBI-related death rate declined 8.2 percent even as emergency department visits for TBIs increased. The most significant declines were experienced among people 44 and younger. However, the TBI-related death rate increased significantly among those 75 and older, and remains the leading cause of injury death and disability in the United States among all populations.

The most common causes of TBIs were firearms, motor vehicle related and falls. The rates for all causes except falls decreased over the surveillance period.

To further reduce the rate of TBI-related deaths, CDC recommends better enforcement of existing safety belt laws, more stringent motorcycle helmet laws and implementation of proven fall prevention interventions.