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December 5, 2001

Brain Injury Resulting From Falls Among Elderly Persons

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2001;286(21):2665-2666. doi:10.1001/jama.286.21.2665

To the Editor: The Research Letter by Dr Kannus and colleagues1 reports that hospitalization rates for fall-induced severe head injury among Finns aged 80 years and older have increased. This is an important trend that US data cannot yet address. The US National Hospital Discharge Survey includes hospital admissions for traumatic brain injury (TBI), a defined severe head injury, but not underlying causes. Increasing US rates of hip fracture,2 primarily a fall injury, and of fatal falls in the United States2 and Finland3 suggest that fall-induced nonfatal TBI rates in the United States also may be increasing. Morbidity data including TBI cases (with underlying causes) will be available shortly from the recently expanded National Electronic Injury Surveillance System All Injury Program, soon to be released by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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