Estimates for the number of Americans living today who have had a TBI range from between 2.5 and 6.5 million, making it a major public health problem costing the United States more than $48 billion annually. A recent review suggests that the incidence of TBI in the United States is between 180 and 250 per 100,000 population per year, with even higher incidence in Europe and South Africa.
Although TBI can affect anyone at any age, certain age groups are more vulnerable because of lifestyle and other risk factors. Males ages 15 to 24, especially those in lower socioeconomic levels, are most likely to become involved in high-speed or other risky driving, as well as physical fights and criminal activity. These behaviors increase the likelihood of TBI associated with automobile and motorcycle accidents or with violent crimes.
Infants, children under five years of age, and adults 75 years and older are also at higher risk for TBI than the general population because they are most susceptible to falls around the home. Other factors predisposing the very young and the very old to TBI include physical abuse, such as violent shaking of an infant or toddler that can result in shaken baby syndrome.
Laurie Barclay, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,