PURPOSE: Alcohol abuse has been associated with aggressive behavior and interpersonal violence. Aim of the study was to investigate the role of alcohol consumption in a population of young adults with mild traumatic brain injuries and the attendant epidemiological circumstances of the trauma.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: All cases of mild traumatic brain injury among young adults under 30 with an injury severity score <16 who were treated as inpatients between 2009 and 2012 at our trauma center were analyzed with regard to the influence of alcohol consumption by multiple regression analysis.
RESULTS: 793 patients, 560 men, and 233 women were included. The age median was 23 (range 14-30). Alcohol consumption was present in 302 cases. Most common trauma mechanism was interpersonal violence followed by simple falls on even ground. Alcohol consumption was present more often in men, unemployed men, patients who had interpersonal violence as a trauma mechanism, and in patients who were admitted to the hospital at weekends or during night time. It also increased the odds ratio to suffer concomitant injuries, open wounds, or fractures independently from the trauma mechanism. Length of hospital stay or incapacity to work did not increase with alcohol consumption.
CONCLUSIONS: Among young adults men and unemployed men have a higher statistical probability to have consumed alcohol prior to suffering mild traumatic brain injury. The most common trauma mechanism in this age group is interpersonal violence and occurs more often in patients who have consumed alcohol. Alcohol consumption and interpersonal violence increase the odds ratio for concomitant injuries, open wounds, and fractures independently from another.