The American Medical Association recently published a study that looked at the long-term consequences of moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI), finding traumatic brain injury linked to risk of early death. According to the report, people who survive six months or longer after suffering a TBI remain at risk for premature death long after the injury occurs.
The study found that people who survived six months or longer after a TBI were three times more likely to die early than the general population. Odds of an early death were even higher for TBI patients who were also suffering from substance abuse, depression, or other psychiatric illnesses. In fact, a person who has suffered a TBI and has a psychiatric illness is 19 times more likely to commit suicide before the age of 56.
About half of the early deaths noted in the study resulted from external factors, such as accidents, suicide and other injuries. The other half came as a result of various other conditions, such as cancer and heart disease. The study did not look into the correlation between TBI and early death.
Dr. Seena Fazel, who led the study, believes that TBI should be treated as a chronic disease. When asked about what the study means for military personnel who have suffered TBIs, Dr. Fazel said he hoped it would encourage them to seek treatment considering the increased risk for depression and other illnesses that can develop after a TBI.
Were You Denied VA Disability Benefits for Traumatic Brain Injury?
The VA commonly denies disability claims for TBI or attempts to downplay the symptoms suffered by a veteran with a TBI. If you suffered from a TBI, or believe that you could have suffered from one, please seek out medical treatment from the VA or your private doctor. If you have been denied disability compensation for a TBI, or feel that your rating is too low, contact Bosley & Bratch today for a free initial screening of your case.