Research News

Head injuries in youth are often linked to psychiatric disorders and disability, study finds

BMJ 2016; 354 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i4642 (Published 24 August 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;354:i4642
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. London

Head injuries in childhood and adolescence are strongly linked with a range of outcomes including psychiatric disorders, low educational attainment, increased risk of disability, and early death, a study of Swedish health and census data has shown.

The more severe the injury, the number of times it is repeated, and the older the person is at the time of injury all increase the risks, researchers reported in PLOS Medicine.1

Amir Sariaslan, of the University of Oxford, UK, and colleagues studied the records of more than 1.1 million Swedish people born from 1973 to 1985, of whom 104 000 (9.1%) had a diagnosis of traumatic brain injury before age 25. This means that they had an injury sufficiently serious to cause some alteration of consciousness and warrant a visit to a hospital emergency department. This would include concussion but also lesser symptoms such as feeling dazed. All of those with a diagnosis of traumatic …

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