Incidence of Depression after Traumatic Brain Injury: A Nationwide Longitudinal Study of 2.2 Million Adults

Yoonjeong Choi, Eun Young Kim, Jiyu Sun, Han-Kyoul Kim, Ye Seol Lee, Byung-Mo Oh, Hye Yoon Park, Ja-Ho Leigh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although improvements in acute care for traumatic brain injury (TBI) have increased the patient survival rate, many survivors often suffer from neuropsychiatric sequelae such as depression. This study investigated the influence of TBI on the risk of depression using South Korean nationwide data. Data were extracted from the National Health Insurance Service database for patients who experienced TBI from 2010 to 2017 (n=1,141,593) and for 1:1 matched controls without TBI (n=1,141,593). Patients under 18 years old or with a history of depression were excluded. TBI was used as a time-varying exposure, and a time-dependent Cox regression model was adopted. Age, sex, insurance premium and type, region of residence, past psychiatric diseases, and Charlson comorbidity index were adjusted. The incidence of depression in the patients with TBI and matched controls was 34.60 and 21.42 per 1,000 person-years, respectively. The risk of depression was higher in the patients with TBI (hazard ratio [HR] 1.19, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.18‒1.20) than in the matched control group. After stratification by sex and age, the risk was higher in men, and the younger age group. In subgroup analyses, patients with skull fracture showed the highest risk of depression. Notably, during the first year after TBI, the depression risk was almost 11 times higher than that in the matched control group (HR 11.71, 95% CI=11.54‒11.87). Our findings highlight a significant association of TBI with an increased risk of subsequent depression. Therefore, continuous awareness with regard to patients' mental health is needed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
StateE-pub ahead of print - 21 Dec 2021


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