Study Shows One in Two Homeless People May Have Experienced a Traumatic Brain Injury in Their Lifetime

Measuring Traumatic Brain Injuries from Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts

A new study conducted by the University of British Columbia and published in The Lancet Public Health revealed that people who are homeless experience a disproportionately high lifetime prevalence of traumatic brain injuries. The meta-analysis examined 38 studies published between 1995 and 2018.

It’s the first type of analysis to examine the prevalence of brain injuries or head injuries in people who are in unstable housing situations. The results show that one in two or 53% of homeless people had suffered a brain injury and one in four (25%) have experienced a traumatic brain injury that is moderate or severe.

What the Study Means

Researchers compared their findings to studies of the general population and found that the lifetime prevalence of brain injuries in people who are homeless or have housing insecurity could potentially be up to four times higher than in the general population. The study found that the lifetime prevalence of moderate or severe TBI’s in this population could also be nearly 10 times higher than estimates in the general population.

However, researchers were not able to zero in on whether brain injuries increased the risk of homelessness or if homelessness heightened the risk of brain injuries. It has been stated that more research is needed to be conducted to better understand the relationship between the two. What this study does establish is those brain injuries are an “underappreciated and significant factor” when it comes to the homeless.

It is particularly striking that researchers found such a high prevalence of moderate or severe brain injuries among those experiencing homelessness. For this study, researchers looked at 38 published papers from six high-income countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Japan and South Korea.

TBI’s Can Change Lives

This study shows that a brain injury, for many people, is more than just a health setback. It could turn a person and a family’s entire life upside down. All it takes is a car accident, a slip-and-fall accident or a physical assault. A brain injury, even one categorized as a relatively mild injury such as a concussion, could leave individuals with lifelong, irreversible brain damage. A brain injury impacts individuals’ ability to get a job, hold on to a job and maintain a livelihood. Mounting medical bills and an inability to keep a job could render the injured person homeless.

If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, please understand that you have legal rights to compensation. Contact an experienced California brain injury lawyer who can help you explore your options and secure maximum compensation for your losses.



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