Objective: This study examined the prevalence of preexisting conditions that could affect premorbid brain health, cognition, and functional independence among older adults with mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), and the relationship between preexisting conditions, injury characteristics, and emergency department (ED) discharge location (home versus continued care). Methods: Older adults (N = 1,427; 55–104 years-old; 47.4% men) who underwent head computed tomography (CT) after acute head trauma were recruited from the ED. Researchers documented preexisting medical conditions retrospectively from hospital records. Results: Multiple preexisting conditions increased in frequency with greater age, including circulatory and nervous system diseases and preexisting abnormalities on head CT. Psychiatric and substance use disorders (SUDs) decreased in frequency with greater age. Among participants with uncomplicated MTBI and GCS = 15, preexisting nervous system diseases and preexisting CT abnormalities were associated with higher odds of continued care for all participants, whereas psychiatric disorders and SUDs were only associated with higher odds of continued care among participants <70 years-old. Preexisting circulatory diseases, loss of consciousness, and amnesia were unassociated with discharge location. Conclusions: Preexisting medical conditions that could affect brain and cognitive health occur commonly among older adults who sustain MTBIs. These conditions can confound research examining post-injury outcomes within this age group.
- Jufo-taso 1
!!ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Neurology