TBI-related Deaths

Key Findings
  • In 2014, there were 56,800 TBI-related deaths in the US, including 2,529 deaths among children.
  • Intentional self-harm, unintentional falls, and motor vehicle crashes were the most common mechanisms of injury contributing to a TBI-related death. These three principal mechanisms of injury accounted for 32.5%, 28.1%, 18.7%, of all TBI-related deaths.
  • Rates of TBI-related deaths per 100,000 population were highest among older adults aged ≥75 years (78.5), those aged 65-74 years (24.7), and individuals 55-64 years (19.1).

Trends in Age-adjusted Rates of TBI-related Deaths

  • From 2006 to 2014, age-adjusted rates of TBI-related deaths decreased by 6% (from 17.9 per 100,000 population to 16.8).
  • This decrease coincides with a large decrease in the age-adjusted rate of TBI-related deaths attributable to motor vehicle crashes (5.4 in 2006 to 3.3 in 2014).
  • From 2006 to 2014, age-adjusted rates of TBI-related deaths attributable to falls and intentional self-harm increased (from 3.6 to 4.4 and from 4.7 to 5.5, respectively).
2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Motor vehicle crashes 5.4 5.0 4.4 3.9 3.6 3.5 3.6 3.4 3.3
Unintentional falls†† 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 4.1 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4
Unintentionally struck by or against an object 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Other unintentional injury, mechanism unspecified‡‡ 1.4 1.4 1.3 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.1 1.2
Intentional self-harm 4.7 4.8 5.0 5.1 5.1 5.3 5.4 5.6 5.5
Assault 2.0 2.0 1.9 1.8 1.8 1.7 1.7 1.6 1.6
Other or no mechanism specified§§ 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.8 0.7 0.7
Total 17.9 17.8 17.2 16.6 17.2 16.5 16.8 16.8 16.8

Source: CDC’s National Vital Statistics System. Age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard population. ††Includes falls of undetermined intent to maintain consistency with past data releases. ‡‡E-codes specify that the injury was unintentional but do not specify the actual mechanism of injury. §§Includes TBIs in which the intent was not determined as well as those due to legal intervention or war. Includes TBIs in which no mechanism was specified in the record. Does not include falls of undetermined intent.