Public Release: 

High burden of traumatic brain injuries in the EU and China

PLOS

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 public health 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 mortality 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 population 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.

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Research Article:

Funding:

This study was conducted within the project Collaborative European Neurotrauma Effectiveness Research in Traumatic Brain Injury (CENTER-TBI) supported by the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement number 602150. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing Interests:

MM, AM, MR and AB received funding during the writing of this Article within the project Collaborative European Neurotrauma Effectiveness Research in Traumatic Brain Injury (CENTER-TBI) supported by the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement number 602150.

Citation:

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. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002331

Author Affiliations:

Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences and Social Work, Trnava University, Trnava, Slovakia
Department of Neurosurgery, Antwerp University Hospital and University of Antwerp, Edegem, Belgium
Department of Public Health, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neuroscience, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand
Department of Emergency Medicine, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

IN YOUR COVERAGE PLEASE USE THIS URL TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE FREELY AVAILABLE PAPER:

http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1002331

Research Article:

Funding:

The authors received no specific funding for this work.

Competing Interests:

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Citation:

Cheng P, Yin P, Ning P, Wang L, Cheng X, Liu Y, et al. (2017) Trends in traumatic brain injury mortality in China, 2006-2013: A population-based longitudinal study. PLoS Med 14(7): e1002332. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1002332

Author Affiliations:

Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, Xiangya School of Public Health, Central South University, Changsha, China
National Center for Chronic and Noncommunicable Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China
Department of Psychology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, United States of America

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