Alcohol and Traumatic Brain Injury

Alcohol consumption has again been found associated with lower mortality among patients with traumatic brain injury.

In a study of over 38,000 patients with severe traumatic brain injuries, those who tested positive for blood alcohol were significantly more likely to survive than were those with no alcohol in their bodies.

The relationship between alcohol consumption and survival remained after considering age, severity of injury, and other relevant factors.


  • Salim, A., et al. Archives of Surgery, 2009, 144(9), 865-871.


  • Tien, H. C. N., et al. Association between alcohol and mortality in patients with severe traumatic head injury. Archives of Surgery, 2006, 141, 1185-1191.
  • Kraus, J.F., et al. Blood alcohol tests, prevalence of involvement, and outcomes following brain injury. American Journal of Public Health, 1989, 79(3), 294-299.
  • Nath, F.P., et al. Alcohol and traumatic brain damage, Injury, 1986, 17(3), 150-153.
  • U.S. News and World Report. Alcohol may help protect trauma patients: researchers theorize it might change the body's chemical response to injury. U.S. News and World Report, October, 1, 2009.
  • Ward, R.E., et al. Effects of ethanol ingestion on the severity and outcome of trauma. American Journal of Surgery, 1982, 144(1), 153-157.
  • Yaghoubian, A., et al. Elevated blood alcohol level may be protective of trauma patient mortality. American Surgeon, 2009, 75(10), 950-953.

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