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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