What are the Leading Causes of TBI?
The leading causes of TBI are:
- Falls (35.2%);
- Motor vehicle – traffic (17.3%);
- Struck by/against events (16.5%); and
- Assaults (10%).1
- Falls continued to be the leading cause of TBI (35.2%) in the United States. Falls cause half (50%) of the TBIs among children aged 0 to 14 years and 61% of all TBIs among adults aged 65 years and older.
Motor Vehicle-Traffic Crashes1
- Among all age groups, motor vehicle crashes and traffic-related incidents were the second leading cause of TBI (17.3%) and resulted in the largest percentage of TBI-related deaths (31.8%).
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Struck By/Against Events1
- Struck by/against events, which include colliding with a moving or stationary object, were the second leading cause of TBI among children aged 0 to 14 years, with 25%.
- Assaults produced 10% of TBIs in the general population; they accounted for only 2.9% in children aged 0 to 14 years and 1% in adults aged 65 years old and older.
Who is at Risk?
- Approximately 18% of all TBI-related emergency department visits involved children aged 0 to 4 years.
- Approximately 22% of all TBI-related hospitalizations involved adults aged 75 years and older.
- Males are more often diagnosed with a TBI (59%).
Blasts are a leading cause of TBI for active duty military personnel in war zones.2 CDC estimates of TBI do not include injuries seen at U.S. Department of Defense or U.S. Veterans Health Administration Hospitals. For more information about TBI in the military including an interactive website for service members, veterans, and families and caregivers, please visit: www.TraumaticBrainInjuryAtoZ.org.
- Faul M, Xu L, Wald MM, Coronado VG. Traumatic brain injury in the United States: emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; 2010
- Champion HR, Holcomb JB, Young LA. Injuries from explosions. Journal of Trauma 2009;66(5):1468–1476.