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In Australia, the annual incidence of TBI resulting in hospitalisations is estimated to be 150 per 100,000 and cost the Australian economy $8.6 billion per year in 2008.1

Khan et al (2003) analysed Australian data while determining the severity of TBI to provide an epidemiological profile of the incidence of adults admitted to hospital for TBI.22 It is about 150 per 100,000 population per year.

  • In the under 65-year-old group the incidence of TBI peaks in the age group 15-35 years.
  • The ratio of patients aged under 65 years is 3.4 males to 1 female, a differential largely thought to be related to risk-taking behaviour among young males.
  • Motor vehicle-related trauma accounts for about two-thirds of moderate and severe TBI, with falls and assaults being the next most common causes.
  • Alcohol is associated with up to half of all cases of people admitted with TBI.
  • Prevalence of mild TBI is likely to be an underestimate due to classification and diagnostic errors and because a large proportion of people with mild TBI do not present to hospital.
Table 1: TBI rates by severity category in 2008
Category Rate per 100,000


64 to 131

Moderate and severe

12 to 14




In NSW a retrospective study determined the demographics, causes, treatment and outcome of TBI in patients admitted to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead emergency from 2006 to 2011.3

Over the six-year period, there were 1489 presentations at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. The demographics and statistics outlined:

  • gender: 65% were male and 35% were female
  • age: the mean age was seven years
  • severity: 93% mild, 1.5% as moderate and 5.5% as severe
  • sports and recreational injuries accounted for 26% of all TBI presentations
  • motor vehicle accidents accounted for 77% of all TBI deaths.
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