CDC report shows prevalence of brain injury
April 14, 1999
ATLANTA (CNN) -- An estimated 5.3 million Americans, a little more than 2 percent of the U.S. population, currently live with disabilities from traumatic brain injuries, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Each year, approximately 80,000 Americans experience the onset of disabilities resulting from brain injuries, the report says.
The data released in the CDC study is considered the most complete picture of the impact of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in the United States.
The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, a division of the CDC and the Brain Injury Association, plans to use the data to assess the availability of proper medical, social and support services across the country.
Other TBI statistics reported by the CDC indicate that each year, 1 million people are treated and released in hospital emergency rooms, and 50,000 people die.
The three leading causes of TBI are motor vehicle crashes, violence -- mostly from firearms -- and falls, particularly among the elderly.
The risk of TBI in men is twice the risk in women. The risk is higher in adolescents, young adults and people older than 75 years.
The report was prepared for a meeting this week of 40 experts to discuss public health implications of TBIs. It presented at a press conference sponsored by the Brain Injury Association of Georgia.
According to the Brain Injury Association (BIA), a TBI takes place when an external physical force hits the brain, producing a diminished or altered state of consciousness. It results in impaired cognitive abilities or physical functioning, and sometimes disturbs behavioral or emotional functioning.
TBI can affect a person cognitively, physically and emotionally. A person might experience memory loss, lack of concentration, slowed ability to process information, seizures, double vision or even loss of vision, headaches or migraines, loss of smell or taste, speech impairments, anxiety, impulsive behavior, depression and mood swings.
The BIA estimates hospital and fatal injury costs relating to TBI in the United States exceed $48 billion annually.
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