Epidemiologic study of head injuries in Taipei City, Taiwan

L. S. Lee, Y. H. Shih, W. T. Chiu, L. S. Lin, C. M. Wu, Y. C. Wang, J. S. Huang, C. C. Hung, C. J. Shih, R. E. Laporte

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14 Citations (Scopus)


This study was designed to examine the descriptive epidemiology of head injuries in an urban population in the Taiwan area, Taipei City, during the period from July 1, 1987 to June 30, 1988. Clinical records reviewed included emergency room (ER) charts, inpatient charts of 19 major hospitals, death registration forms and medical examiners' reports in this city. A formulated definition was used to identify patients with head injuries. A total of 4,692 cases were collected, which included 4,319 hospital inpatients and 373 non-hospital deaths. The average incidence rate for head injury was 180/100,000 per year, 246/100,000 for males and 111/100,000 for females. The highest incidence rate was observed in the elderly group followed by the age group of 20-29 years. Sixty eight percent of the head injuries were caused by traffic accidents, 59.7 percent of which were involved in motorcycle rides. This rate was higher than those in any western reports. Among the 10-39 age group, the head injuries caused by traffic accidents were mainly due to motorcycle accidents. However, most of the children and the elderly who were injured were either pedestrians or bicycle riders. The average mortality rate was 23/100,000 per year, 34/100,000 for males and 12/100,000 for females. Initially the Glasgow Coma Scale was used in assessing the severity of head injuries. Seventy-two percent of the cases were considered mild, and 28 percent moderate to severe in degree, including 609 deaths.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-225
Number of pages7
JournalZhonghua yi xue za zhi = Chinese medical journal; Free China ed
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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