An epidemiological study of head injury in Hualien County, Taiwan

C. C. Hung, W. T. Chiu, J. C. Tsai, R. E. Laporte, C. J. Shih

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An epidemiological study of head injuries in Hualien County, Taiwan, was undertaken from July 1, 1987 to June 30, 1988. Clinical records, including emergency room (ER) charts, inpatient charts from the four major hospitals and coroner or medical examiner reports in this county, were reviewed. A formulated definition was used in identifying patients with head injury. A total of 1,183 cases were identified. They included 975 hospital inpatients and 208 nonhospital deaths. The age-adjusted incidence rate for head injuries was 333/100,000 for all, 450/100,000 for males and 194/100,000 for females, with a male-to-female ratio of 2.32. The cumulative incidence rate from 0 to 69 years of age was 27.6% for males and 13.7% for females. The highest incidence rate was observed in the elderly group, whereas in other published reports the highest occurrence has been noted in the young adult group. An extraordinary 82% of the head injuries were associated with traffic accidents, 71% of which directly involved motorcycle riders. The age-adjusted mortality rate was 89/100,000 per year, 127/100,000 for males and 44/100,000 for females. The cumulative mortality rate was 8.7% for males and 3.2% for females. These are the highest rates ever reported. Sixty percent of the 1,183 patients had a moderate to severe injury or were dead. In the remaining 40%, the injury was considered mild. The elderly group presented with the highest percentage of moderate to severe degrees of injury, as well as mortality. Among traffic accident victims, those from motorcycle accidents and pedestrians had the highest percentage of severe head injuries.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1227-1233
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Formosan Medical Association = Taiwan yi zhi
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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