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Risk of PTSD and MDD Following Mild TBI

JAMA Psychiatry; ePub 2019 Jan 30; Stein, et al

After mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), some individuals, on the basis of education, race/ethnicity, history of mental health problems, and cause of injury, were at substantially increased risk of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or major depressive disorder (MDD). This according to a study that aimed to ascertain prevalence of and risk factors for PTSD and MDD among patients evaluated in the emergency department (ED) for mTBI. A total of 1,155 patients with mTBI (Glasgow Coma Scale score, 13-15) and 230 patients with non-head orthopedic trauma injuries aged ≥17 years were seen in 11 US hospitals with level 1 trauma centers. Researchers found:

  • Weights-adjusted prevalence of PTSD and/or MDD in the mTBI vs orthopedic trauma comparison groups at 3 months was 20.0% vs 8.7% and at 6 months was 21.2% vs 12.1%.
  • Risk factors for probable PTSD at 6 months after mTBI included less education, being black, self-reported psychiatric history, and injury resulting from assault or other violence.
  • Risk factors for probable MDD after mTBI were similar with the exception that cause of injury was not associated with increased risk.


Stein MB, Jain S, Giacino JT, et al. Risk of posttraumatic stress disorder and major depression in civilian patients after mild traumatic brain injury. A TRACK-TBI Study. [Published online ahead of print January 30, 2019]. JAMA Psychiatry. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.4288.