HealthDay News — During 2016 to 2018, there were 181,227 traumatic brain injury (TBI)-related deaths in the United States, representing 17.3 per 100,000 population per year, according to research published in the Oct. 15 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Jill Daugherty, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues estimated the numbers and rates of TBI-related deaths and leading causes of TBI using the National Vital Statistics System mortality data for 2016 to 2018.

The researchers found there were 181,227 TBI-related deaths (17.3 per 100,000 population/year) during 2016 to 2018 in the United States. The difference between state TBI-related death rates and the overall U.S. rate varied from 46.2 percent below to 101.2 percent above. The lowest rate was seen in New Jersey (9.3 per 100,000 population/year) while the highest rates were seen in Alaska, Wyoming, and Montana (34.8, 32.6, and 29.5 per 100,000 population/year, respectively). Higher rates were seen for states in the South and those with a higher proportion of residents living in rural areas. Suicide was the leading cause of TBI-related death in 43 states; unintentional falls or unintentional motor vehicle crashes were responsible for the highest numbers and rates of TBI-related deaths in other states.

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“Expanding evidence-based prevention strategies that address TBI-related deaths is warranted, especially among states with high rates attributable to suicide, unintentional falls, and motor vehicle crashes,” the authors write.

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