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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: May 2010

11d - Traumatic brain injury in older adults

from Section II - Disorders



Traumatic brain injury (TBI) in older adults poses a critical health problem, a statement which is supported by epidemiological studies indicating that persons aged 65 years and older are especially vulnerable. In the USA, the rate of TBI-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths for the period 1995–2001 was 267.4/100,000 in persons aged 65–74 years. The figure for those 75 years and older dramatically increased to 659.1/100,000, and this group was found to have the highest rate of TBI-related hospitalizations and deaths compared to any other ages [1]. Analysis of data from a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 15-state TBI surveillance system indicated that persons 85 years and older were twice as likely to be hospitalized as those 75–84 years, and more than 4-times as likely as those 65–74 years [2]. The above statistics are coupled with shifts in the percentage of older persons in the USA. Thirty-five million people were 65 years and older in the year 2000, representing a 12% increase over the past decade. This figure is projected to rise to 53 million in the year 2020, with the elderly comprising over 20% of the US population by the year 2030 [3].

In this chapter, we present research findings concerning the functional, cognitive, and emotional outcomes from TBI sustained in older adults.

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