Long-term survival after traumatic brain injury part II: Life expectancy

Jordan C. Brooks, Robert M. Shavelle, David J. Strauss, Flora M. Hammond, Cynthia L. Harrison-Felix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


Objectives To compute the life expectancy of persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI) based on validated prognostic models from 2 cohorts, to compare mortality and life expectancy of persons with TBI with those of the U.S. general population, and to investigate trends toward improved survival over the last 2 decades. Design Survival analysis. Setting Postdischarge from rehabilitation units and long-term follow-up at regional centers. Participants Two cohorts of long-term survivors of TBI (N=12,481): the Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems (TBIMS) cohort comprised 7365 persons who were admitted to a TBIMS facility with moderate to severe TBI and were assessed at ≥1 years postinjury, and the California Department of Developmental Services (CDDS) cohort comprised 5116 persons who sustained a TBI and received long-term services from the CDDS. Interventions Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures Life expectancy. Results The estimates of age-, sex-, and disability-specific life expectancy of persons with TBI derived from the CDDS and TBIMS were similar. The estimates of age- and sex-specific life expectancy were lower than those of the U.S. general population. Mortality rates of persons with TBI were higher than those of the U.S. general population. Mortality rates did not improve and the standardized mortality ratio increased over the study period from 1988 to 2010. Conclusions Life expectancy of persons with TBI is lower than that of the general population and depends on age, sex, and severity of disability. When compared, the survival outcomes in the TBIMS and CDDS cohorts are remarkably similar. Because there have been no marked trends in the last 20 years, the life expectancies presented in this article may remain valid in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1000-1005
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015



  • Brain injuries
  • Life Expectancy
  • Mortality trends
  • Prognosis
  • Rehabilitation
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Medicine(all)

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