Women and Traumatic Brain Injury

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Introduction

In the past 30 years, numerous studies have been published on traumatic brain injury (TBI). Often termed “the silent epidemic,” approximately 1.25 million people in the US sustain a TBI each year (Langlois, Rutland-Brown, & Thomas, 2006). Brain injuries continue to be the leading cause of disability in the US among individuals who are 45 years of age or younger, and the leading cause of death of persons under the age of 34 (Kaplan & Thacker, 2000). Overall, males account for 62% of all TBIs, and females account for 38%. Researchers, however, have shown that the rate is similar for men and women between the age of 45 and 75 (Farace & Alves, 2000). Above the age of 75, there is a slightly higher increase in brain injuries among women (Croce, Fabian, Malhotra, Bee, & Miller, 2002; Holbrook & Hoyt, 2004). Although the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) have shown that females are as likely as males to be hospitalized for TBIs, some studies have shown that the leng