Trends in alcohol use during moderate and severe traumatic brain injury: 18 years of neurotrauma in Pennsylvania

R. A. Bernier, Frank Gerard Hillary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Primary Alcohol is a known risk factor for TBI, yet little is known about how rates of alcohol use at time of injury differ across demographics and the stability of alcohol-related injury over time. Further, findings examining the relationship between alcohol and outcome are mixed. This study aimed to examine changes in alcohol-positive moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (+aTBI) over two decades with focus on demographic factors, changes in +aTBI frequency over time, mortality and acute outcome.Methods: This retrospective study examined data collected from 1992-2009 by the Pennsylvania Trauma Outcome Study (PTOS).Results: Results reveal that the proportion of +aTBI has been generally stable across years. However, there is an interaction of +aTBI incidence with mechanism of injury and age, with a downward trend in +aTBI within MVA and fall and individuals 18-30 and 71+ years. Further, consistent with several findings in the literature, alcohol was associated with higher rates of survival and better FSD scores during acute recovery.Conclusions: This study discusses findings in the context of a greater literature on TBI-related alcohol and outcome. The injury-alcohol profiles highlighted could be used to inform future allocation of resources toward prevention of, intervention for and care of individuals who sustain TBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)414-421
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 20 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology


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