Traumatic brain injuries occur twice as often in men as they do in women. Higher risk populations include those between the ages of 15 and 24 years, as well as individuals 75 years and older. Trauma is the most common form of brain injury, with about half to 70 percent of all traumatic brain injuries the result of motor vehicle accidents. Other common causes of traumatic brain injury include violent assault, sports-related accidents, and falls.
Men and Brain Injury Risk
Why do the majority of traumatic brain injuries happen to men between the ages of 15 and 24 years old? Well, men are more likely to participate in the activities that make them more vulnerable—activities such as driving cars or motor bikes at high speeds, participating in contact sports such as hockey, football, and rugby, and getting into fights that involve the use of fire arms or other weapons. In addition to participating in risky behaviors, men are much more likely to be employed in occupations that involve manual labor and heavy equipment.
Children and Brain Injury Risk
Children ages five and younger are also at greater risk for head injuries, and according to the National Pediatric Trauma Registry, more than 30,000 children per year sustain a permanent disability as a result of a brain injury. Children’s injuries are often the result of being hit by cars or bicycles, or by falling long distances. The elderly, particularly those over the age of 25, are also at greater risk due to falls.
Accidents and Brain Injury
Motor vehicle, bicycle, and vehicle-pedestrian accidents account for 50 percent of all head injuries, while falls account for approximately 25 percent. Violence accounts for 20 percent. It is estimated that about three percent of all brain injuries that require hospitalization are due to sports. That being said, most brain injuries that result from sports are minor, and go undetected and unreported.
Other Factors that Contribute to Brain Injury
The use of alcohol and medication are common contributing factors to the incidents that cause brain injury, as is lack of concentration and fatigue.