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Head injury 'increases death risk'

Thursday February 3rd 2011

New research has suggested that suffering a head injury, regardless of its severity, could increase the chances of dying in the following 13 years.

The study, published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, found that people who are admitted to hospital for any kind of head injury are around twice as likely to die in the next 10 years compared with the general population.

And the study found that four in 10 people admitted to hospital died from a number of causes over a 13-year period compared with just 19% in the community and 28% admitted to hospital with other injuries.

The research involved examining 760 people with a head injury compared with other groups of a similar size.

Among the head injury group, the death rate was found to be "much higher" than for in people living in the community, according to the study.

And the risk seemed to be significantly more for younger adults compared with older age groups.

The authors, from the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, said: "More than one year after injury, the death rate in younger (15 to 54 years) adults was much higher than in community controls (17.36 vs 2.36 per 1,000 per year) whereas in older adults the difference was more marginal (61.47 vs 42.36)."

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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