old-tbiA study conducted by researchers in Finland indicates that falling is the most common cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in older adults. The researchers add that TBI is a major cause of hospitalization, disability, and death worldwide. In a recent news release, Nina Korhonen, BM, the Injury and Osteoporosis Research Center, Tampere, Finland, and colleagues note that a previous study suggested that the number and incidence of adults aged 80 years or older admitted to the hospital as a result of fall-induced TBI in Finland increased from 1970 through 1999.

The current analysis reportedly follows-up with this population through 2011. The study included data from the Finnish National Hospital Discharge Register, a nationwide, computer-based register designed to provide data for severe injuries among the Finish population. Researchers report that the total number of older Finnish adults with a full-induced TBI increased considerably from 60 women and 25 men in 1970 to 1,205 women and 612 men in 2011.

The researchers add that the age-adjusted incidence of TBI per 100,000 individuals also exhibited an increase from 168.2 women in 1970 to 653.6 women in 2011, and 174.6 to 724.0, respectively, in men. The authors emphasize that the 40-year follow-up suggests that, “The number and age-adjusted incidence of fall-induced TBI in Finnish men and women aged 80 years or older increased considerably between 1970 and 2011. Compared with the data in our previous study, the increase has continued since 1999.”

The researchers go on to state that further studies are needed in order to better assess the reasons behind the increase of fall-related TBI in older adults and pave the way for effective interventions for falls and injury prevention.

[Source: American Medical Association (AMA)]