In this propensity-matched cohort study of more than 350 000 veterans with and without traumatic brain injuries, mild traumatic brain injury without loss of consciousness was associated with more than a 2-fold increase in the risk of dementia diagnosis, even after adjusting for medical and psychiatric comorbidities.
The study included 178 779 patients diagnosed with a TBI in the Veterans Health Administration health care system and 178 779 patients in a propensity-matched comparison group. Veterans had a mean (SD) age of nearly 49.5 (18.2) years at baseline; 33 250 (9.3%) were women, and 259 136 (72.5%) were non-Hispanic white individuals. Differences between veterans with and without TBI were small. A total of 4698 veterans (2.6%) without TBI developed dementia compared with 10 835 (6.1%) of those with TBI. After adjustment for demographics and medical and psychiatric comobidities, adjusted hazard ratios for dementia were 2.36 (95% CI, 2.10-2.66) for mild TBI without LOC, 2.51 (95% CI, 2.29-2.76) for mild TBI with LOC, 3.19 (95% CI, 3.05-3.33) for mild TBI with LOC status unknown, and 3.77 (95% CI, 3.63-3.91) for moderate to severe TBI.