Military veterans with a history of TBI are more than twice as likely to die by suicide compared with veterans without such a diagnosis, according to a newly published study in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. Researchers found that those with moderate or severe TBI were 2.45 times as likely to die by suicide compared to those without a TBI diagnosis. Additionally, among suicide decedents, they report that the odds of using firearms as a means of suicide was significantly increased for those with moderate or severe TBI as compared to those without a history of TBI.
During the period of time they studied, the rate of suicide was 86 per 100,000 person years for those with TBI compared with 37 per 100,000 person years for those without TBI. Of those in the sample who died by suicide, 68 percent used firearms. Veterans with moderate or severe TBIs had the highest proportion of suicides by firearms at 78 percent.