Thursday, September 29, 2011

Economic Recession Triggers More Abusive Head Trauma in Children

The occurrence of abusive head trauma (AHT), a leading cause of death from child abuse, increased during the economic recession. Researchers collected data for AHT cases diagnosed in children younger than age 5 from January 2004 through June 2009, by hospital-based child-protection teams in three U.S. regions. They found that the rate of AHT increased significantly in the 19 months during which there was a recession, compared with the 47 months before the recession. The group also examined unemployment rates during the study period, but found no relationship between unemployment and AHT rates.

“Given the high morbidity and mortality rates for children with AHT, these results are concerning and suggest that prevention efforts might need to be increased significantly during times of economic hardship,” said the researchers in the October Pediatrics.  

To learn about the latest clinical and research data on head trauma, see the new edition of the Textbook of Traumatic Brain Injury, available from American Psychiatric Publishing at

(Image: Bernad/


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