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How many people are affected by or at risk for TBI?

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1.7 million people experience a TBI in the United States each year.1 This number does not include injuries seen at military or Veterans Health Administration health facilities.

CDC data show that about 53,000 people in the United States die from TBI-related causes every year.2

Anyone can experience TBI because it is caused by common events such as car crashes, sports injuries, and falls. However, certain groups of people are more likely to sustain a TBI. The age groups in which TBI is most common are:

  • Children up to 4 years old
  • Adolescents 15 to 19 years old
  • Adults 65 and older1

Within every age group, TBI rates are higher for males than for females.1

In addition, active duty and reserve service members, who engage in dangerous training and operational activities in addition to combat, face a greater risk of TBI than their civilian peers.3


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2010). How many people have TBI? Retrieved May 24, 2012, from http://www.cdc.gov/TraumaticBrainInjury/statistics.html [top]
  2. Coronado, V. G., Xu, L., McGuire, L. C., Wald, M. M., Faul, M. D., Guzman, B. R., & Hemphill, J. D. (2011). Surveillance for traumatic brain injury–related deaths―United States, 1997–2007. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 60(5);1–32.[top]
  3. Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center. (2011). TBI and the military. Retrieved May 24, 2012, from http://www.dvbic.org/about/tbi-military External Web Site Policy [top]

Last Updated Date: 07/19/2013
Last Reviewed Date: 05/21/2013
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