Research Reports - Racial/ethnic disparities in mortality risk among US veterans with traumatic brain injury

Am J Public Health. 2012 May;102 Suppl 2:S266-71. Epub 2011 Nov 28

Egede LE, Dismuke C, Echols C.

Objectives. We examined the association of race/ethnicity with mortality risk in
a national cohort of US veterans clinically diagnosed with traumatic brain
injury. Methods. Between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2006, we obtained data
from a national cohort study of 7885 non-Hispanic White, 1748 Non-Hispanic Black,
314 Hispanic, and 4743 other or missing race/ethnicity veterans clinically
diagnosed with traumatic brain injury in Veterans Affairs medical centers and
community-based outpatient clinics. Results. Overall mortality at 48 months was
6.7% in Hispanic, 2.9% in non-Hispanic White, and 2.7% in non-Hispanic Black
veterans. Compared with non-Hispanic White, Hispanic ethnicity was positively
associated with a higher mortality risk (hazard ratio [HR] = 2.33; 95% confidence
interval [CI] = 1.49, 3.64) in the race/ethnicity-only adjusted model. After
adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics and comorbidities, Hispanic
ethnicity continued to be positively associated (HR = 1.61; 95% CI = 1.00, 2.58)
with a higher mortality risk relative to non-Hispanic White ethnicity.
Conclusions. Hispanic ethnicity is positively associated with higher mortality
risk among veterans clinically diagnosed with traumatic brain injury. More
research is needed to understand the reasons for this disparity.

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