Burden of Traumatic Brain Injuries in Children and Adolescents in Europe: Hospital Discharges, Deaths and Years of Life Lost
Children and adolescents are at high risk of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). To identify those most at risk across Europe, a comprehensive epidemiological study on the burden of TBI is needed. Our aim was to estimate the burden of TBI in the pediatric and adolescent population of Europe by calculating rates of hospital-based incidence, death and years of life lost (YLL) due to TBI in 33 countries of Europe in 2014 (most recent available data). We conducted a cross-sectional observational, population-based study. All cases with TBI in the age range 0 to 19, registered in the causes of death databases or hospital discharge databases of 33 European countries were included. Crude and age-standardized rates of hospital discharges, deaths and YLLs due to TBI; and pooled estimates for all countries combined were calculated. TBI caused 2303 deaths (71% in boys), 154,282 YLLs (68% in boys) and 441,368 hospital discharges (61% in boys) in the population of 0–19 year-olds. We estimated pooled age-standardized rates of death (2.8, 95% CI: 2.4–3.3), YLLs (184.4, 95% CI: 151.6–217.2) and hospital discharges (344.6, 95% CI: 250.3–438.9) for the analyzed countries in 2014. The population of 15–19 year-olds had the highest rates of deaths and YLLs, and the population of 0–4 year-olds had the highest rate of hospital discharges. Detailed estimates of hospital discharge, death and YLL rates based on high-quality, standardized data may be used to develop health policies, aid decision-making and plan prevention.