High burden of traumatic brain injuries in the EU and China

July 11, 2017

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious public health threat contributing to mortality and morbidity around the world, according to two studies published in PLOS Medicine that quantify the burden of TBI on the populations of Europe and China, respectively.

In the first study, Marek Majdan of Trnava University, Slovakia, and colleagues calculated the Years of Life Lost (YLL) due to TBI for 16 European countries. Using data acquired from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, the researchers found that a total of 17,049 TBI deaths occurred in the countries in 2013, translating into 374,636 YLL. Each TBI death was, on average, associated with 24.3 YLL and the summary rate was 259.1 TBI YLL per 100,000 people (95% CI: 205.8 to 312.3). Males accounted for significantly more TBI YLL than females (82% of all TBI YLL, a rate ratio 3.24, 95% CI: 3.24 to 3.27). Falls and traffic accidents were the most common external cause of TBI YLL. Extrapolating the numbers to the entire EU, about 1.3 million YLL were attributable to TBI in 2013.

"We believe this information could facilitate policy makers in tailoring preventive action so that the respective measures are targeted to the high-risk populations," the researchers say. "Communicating the implications of TBI deaths using YLLs as a measure (rather than numbers of deaths) may help the general public to better grasp the magnitude of the problem, and could help to raise awareness about TBI as a major problem in general."

In the second study, Maigeng Zhou of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and Guoqing Hu of the Xiangya School of Public Health, Central South University, China, and colleagues describe TBI differences by sex, location and cause from 2006 to 2013 in China, using data from the China National Disease Surveillance Points system and the 2010 national census. The researchers found that age-adjusted TBI mortality increased from 13.23 per 100,000 in 2006 to 17.06 per 100,000 population in 2008 and then fell slightly to 12.99 per 100,000 population in 2013. Males and rural residents had higher TBI mortality risk (rate ratios of 2.57 and 1.71) and the risk also increased with age. Motor vehicle crashes and falls were the leading causes of TBI mortality during the study timeframe, with pedestrians and motorcyclists being common victims.

"Future research should explore reasons for the particularly high risk of TBI mortality among particular populations, as well as for recent increases in certain subgroups," the researchers say. "In particular, evidence-based prevention, response, and treatment interventions for TBI... should be translated to Chinese culture and implemented nationwide."

The two studies are part of a special issue on trauma that is publishing through the month of July. More articles on traumatic injuries can be found on the PLOS Medicine Trauma Special Issue page.

Explore further: Chinese air pollution linked to respiratory and cardiovascular deaths

More information: Majdan M, Plancikova D, Maas A, Polinder S, Feigin V, Theadom A, et al. (2017) Years of life lost due to traumatic brain injury in Europe: A cross-sectional analysis of 16 countries. PLoS Med 14(7): e1002331. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002331

Related Stories

Chinese air pollution linked to respiratory and cardiovascular deaths

February 10, 2017
In the largest epidemiological study conducted in the developing world, researchers found that as exposures to fine particulate air pollution in 272 Chinese cities increase, so do deaths from cardiovascular and respiratory ...

Cancer in China: More than 7500 cancer deaths per day estimated

January 26, 2016
A new report estimates there were 4.3 million new cancer cases and more than 2.8 million cancer deaths in China in 2015, with lung cancer the most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer death in China.

Better air quality standards in China could save 3 million early deaths each year

March 14, 2017
Adopting and enforcing tighter air quality standards in China could save 3 millionpremature deaths each year and may bring about tremendous public health benefits, say experts in The BMJ today.

Individuals with autism at substantially heightened risk for injury death

March 21, 2017
Deaths in individuals with autism increased 700 percent in the past 16 years and were three times as likely as in the general population to be caused by injuries, according to a new study by Columbia University's Mailman ...

Study finds increase in severity of firearm injuries, in-hospital fatality rate

June 14, 2016
In a study appearing in the June 14 issue of JAMA, Angela Sauaia, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, and colleagues examined patterns of gunshot wound-associated severity and mortality ...

Recommended for you

High-fat diet in pregnancy can cause mental health problems in offspring

July 21, 2017
A high-fat diet not only creates health problems for expectant mothers, but new research in an animal model suggests it alters the development of the brain and endocrine system of their offspring and has a long-term impact ...

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

Opioids and obesity, not 'despair deaths,' raising mortality rates for white Americans

July 20, 2017
Drug-related deaths among middle-aged white men increased more than 25-fold between 1980 and 2014, with the bulk of that spike occurring since the mid-1990s when addictive prescription opioids became broadly available, according ...

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

July 20, 2017
We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

July 20, 2017
Fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Australian school students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

Fresh fish oil lowers diabetes risk in rat offspring

July 19, 2017
Fresh fish oil given to overweight pregnant rats prevented their offspring from developing a major diabetes risk factor, Auckland researchers have found.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.