Content » Vol 45, Issue 8

Original report

Sex-differences in symptoms, disability, and life satisfaction three years after mild traumatic brain injury: A population-based cohort study

Johan Styrke, Peter Sojka, Ulf Björnstig, Per-Olov Bylund, Britt-Marie Stålnacke
Division of Surgery, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Umeå University, 901 85 Umeå, Sweden. E-mail:
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-1215


Objective: To investigate sex differences in symptoms, structure of symptoms, disability and life satisfaction 3 years after mild traumatic brain injury. Secondary aims were to find risk factors for adverse outcome.
Design: Population-based cohort study.
Patients: The cohort comprised 137,000 inhabitants at risk in a defined population served by a single hospital in northern Sweden. Patients attending the emergency department following a mild traumatic brain injury in 2001 were included.
Methods: Of 214 patients aged 18–64 years, 163 answered a questionnaire on symptoms, disability, and life-satisfaction 3 years post-injury. The instruments were analysed with descriptive statistics. A principal component analysis of the Rivermead Post-Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire was conducted. Risk factors were identified using logistic regression.
Results: Post-concussion syndrome was found in 50% of the women and 30% of the men. Disability was found in 52% of the women and 37% of the men, and 57% of the women and 56% of the men were satisfied with their lives. For both genders, high frequency of symptoms was a risk factor for disability and low life satisfaction. Back pain was a risk factor for disability. Living alone was a risk factor for low levels of life satisfaction. The principal component analysis revealed differences between the sexes.
Conclusion: There are sex differences in outcome 3 years after mild traumatic brain injury. Women and men should be analysed separately.

Lay Abstract


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