Epidemiology of Traumatic Brain Injury in Europe: A Living Systematic Review
This systematic review provides a comprehensive, up-to-date summary of traumatic brain injury (TBI) epidemiology in Europe, describing incidence, mortality, age, and sex distribution, plus severity, mechanism of injury, and time trends. PubMed, CINAHL, EMBASE, and Web of Science were searched in January 2015 for observational, descriptive, English language studies reporting incidence, mortality, or case fatality of TBI in Europe. There were no limitations according to date, age, or TBI severity. Methodological quality was assessed using the Methodological Evaluation of Observational Research checklist. Data were presented narratively. Sixty-six studies were included in the review. Country-level data were provided in 22 studies, regional population or treatment center catchment area data were reported by 44 studies. Crude incidence rates varied widely. For all ages and TBI severities, crude incidence rates ranged from 47.3 per 100,000, to 694 per 100,000 population per year (country-level studies) and 83.3 per 100,000, to 849 per 100,000 population per year (regional-level studies). Crude mortality rates ranged from 9 to 28.10 per 100,000 population per year (country-level studies), and 3.3 to 24.4 per 100,000 population per year (regional-level studies.) The most common mechanisms of injury were traffic accidents and falls. Over time, the contribution of traffic accidents to total TBI events may be reducing. Case ascertainment and definitions of TBI are variable. Improved standardization would enable more accurate comparisons.