Traumatic brain injury within Pacific people of New Zealand

Lagolago, W
Theadom, A
Fairbairn Dunlop, P
Ameratunga, S
Dowell, A
McPherson, KM
Te Ao, B
Starkey, NJ
Feigin, VL
on behalf of the BIONIC Research Group
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Journal Article
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New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA)

Aims Previous research has suggested there are ethnic disparities in the incidence of traumatic brain injury (TBI). This study aimed to: identify the incidence of TBI for Pacific people; describe the injury profile in this population; and determine if there were disparities in healthcare service use. Methods All TBI cases that occurred within a 1-year period in the Hamilton and Waikato regions of New Zealand were identified using multiple case ascertainment methods as part of a population-based incidence study. Demographic and injury data from people who self-identified as a Pacific person (N=76) were extracted and compared to New Zealand (NZ) Europeans (N=794). Differences in injury severity, mechanism of injury and acute healthcare service use were explored between the two ethnic groups. Results The total crude incidence of TBI in Pacific people was 1242 cases per 100,000 person-years, significantly higher than NZ Europeans (842 per 100,000). Peaks in incidence for Pacific people and NZ Europeans were observed between 0–4 and 15–24 years of age, with males at greater risk of injury than females. There were no statistically significant differences in TBI severity, mechanism of injury and acute healthcare use between the two groups. Conclusion Pacific people are at a significantly higher risk of experiencing a TBI than NZ Europeans and targeted prevention efforts are needed.

New Zealand Medical Journal, vol.128(1412), pp.29 - 38
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