DoD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

DVBIC is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking traumatic brain injury (TBI) data in the U.S. military. On this page you’ll find annual and quarterly reports that provide data on the number of active-duty service members — anywhere U.S. forces are located — with a first-time TBI diagnosis since 2000.

Service members can sustain a TBI during day-to-day activities, such as while playing sports or participating in recreational events, military training and military deployment. The majority of traumatic brain injuries sustained by members of the U.S. Armed Forces are classified as mild TBI, also known as concussion. Most service members who sustain a mild TBI return to full duty within seven to 10 days through rest and the progressive return to activity process, in which patients gradually return to normal activity using a standardized, staged-approach. Further treatment is available if symptoms persist after the recommended rest period. Review our clinical resources for more information.

 

Number of Service Members Diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury

Year Number of Service Members Diagnosed Report
Total 383,947 Total (2000-2018 Q1) DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers, PDF [3.29 MB]
2018 Q1 4,300 2018 (Q1) DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers, PDF [2.64 MB]
2017 17,841 2017 DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers, PDF [3.24 MB]
2016 18,342 2016 DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers, PDF [3.3 MB]
2015 22,672 2015 DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers, PDF [2.73 MB]
2014 25,068 2014 DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers, PDF [2.67 MB]
2013 27,452 2013 DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers, PDF [3.33 MB]
2012 30,652 2012 DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers, PDF [2.93 MB]
2011 32,834 2011 DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers, PDF [3.34 MB]
2010 29,368 2010 DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers, PDF [2.33 MB]
2009 28,896 2009 DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers, PDF [2.77 MB]
2008 28,480 2008 DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers, PDF [2.54 MB]
2007 23,222 2007 DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers, PDF [2.75 MB]
2006 17,023 2006 DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers, PDF [2.73 MB]
2005 15,528 2005 DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers, PDF [2.85 MB]
2004 14,468 2004 DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers, PDF [2.98 MB]
2003 12,816 2003 DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers, PDF [2.38 MB]
2002 12,407 2002 DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers, PDF [2.45 MB]
2001 11,619 2001 DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers, PDF [2.89 MB]
2000 10,959 2000 DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers, PDF [3.2 MB]

Annual Totals at a Glance

Line graph of Yearly totals - 2000 – 10,959; 2001 – 11,619; 2002 – 12,407; 2003 – 12,816; 2004 – 14,468; 2005 – 15,528; 2006 – 17,023; 2007 – 23,222; 2008 – 28,480; 2009 – 28,896; 2010 – 29,368; 2011 – 32,834; 2012 – 30,652; 2013 – 27,452; 2014 – 25,068; 2015 – 22,672; 2016 – 18,342; 2017 – 17,841.
Line graph showing TBI totals by Branch of Service from year 2000 to 2016 as of February 2017 - Year 2000=Army 4,633 Navy 2,464 Air Force 2,077 Marine 1,785; Year 2001=Army 4,995 Navy 2,461 Air Force 2,248 Marine 1,915 Year 2002=Army 5,244 Navy 2,683 Air Force 2,424 Marine 2,056; Year 2003=Army 5,507 Navy 2,736 Air Force 2,625 Marine 1,948; Year 2004=Army 6,741 Navy 2,812 Air Force 2,759 Marine 2,156; Year 2005=Army 7,560 Navy 2,856 Air Force 2,656 Marine 2,456; Year 2006=Army 9,254 Navy 2,663 Air Force 2,570 Marine 2,536; Year 2007=Army 14,522 Navy 2,825 Air Force 2,738 Marine 3,136; Year 2008=Army 19,623 Navy 2,820 Air Force 2,625 Marine 3,404; Year 2009=Army 18,846 Navy 3,011 Air Force 3,237 Marine 3,802; Year 2010=Army 18,647 Navy 2,860 Air Force 3,402 Marine 4,459; Year 2011=Army 21,153 Navy 3,030 Air Force 3,534 Marine 5,117; Year 2012=Army 19,371 Navy 3,328 Air Force 3,683 Marine 4,270; Year 2013=Army 16,871 Navy 3,309 Air Force 3,616 Marine 3,656; Year 2014=Army 14,682 Navy 3,274 Air Force 3,672 Marine 3,436; Year 2015=Army 12,942 Navy 3,491 Air Force 3,107 Marine 3,132; Year 2016=Army 11,237 Navy 2,465 Air Force 2,276 Marine 2,364; Year 2017=Army 10,790 Navy 2,459 Air Force 2,394 Marine 2,198
Line graph showing TBI totals by Severity type from year 2000 to 2016 as of February 2017 - Year 2000=Penetrating 275 Severe 184 Moderate 1,640 Mild 7,177 Not Classifiable 1,683; Year 2001= Penetrating 288 Severe 195 Moderate 1,706 Mild 8,282 Not Classifiable 1,148; Year 2002= Penetrating 239 Severe 161 Moderate 1,471 Mild 9,627 Not Classifiable 909; Year 2003= Penetrating 285 Severe 175 Moderate 1,456 Mild 10,254 Not Classifiable 646; Year 2004= Penetrating 359 Severe 169 Moderate 1,620 Mild 11,888 Not Classifiable 432; Year 2005= Penetrating 326 Severe 197 Moderate 1,689 Mild 12,834 Not Classifiable 482; Year 2006= Penetrating 347 Severe 231 Moderate 1,714 Mild 14,436 Not Classifiable 295; Year 2007= Penetrating 407 Severe 249 Moderate 2,388 Mild 19,721 Not Classifiable 457; Year 2008= Penetrating 469 Severe 273 Moderate 2,098 Mild 22,959 Not Classifiable 2,633; Year 2009= Penetrating 518 Severe 361 Moderate 2,098 Mild 23,899 Not Classifiable 2,020; Year 2010= Penetrating 331 Severe 291 Moderate 2,088 Mild 25,122 Not Classifiable 1,536; Year 2011= Penetrating 427 Severe 374 Moderate 2,168 Mild 27,335 Not Classifiable 2,530; Year 2012= Penetrating 248 Severe 299 Moderate 2,079 Mild 25,947 Not Classifiable 2,079; Year 2013= Penetrating 200 Severe 206 Moderate 2,211 Mild 22,823 Not Classifiable 2,012; Year 2014= Penetrating 174 Severe 173 Moderate 2,335 Mild 20,837 Not Classifiable 1,549; Year 2015= Penetrating 143 Severe 187 Moderate 2,883 Mild 18,578 Not Classifiable 881; Year 2016= Penetrating 92 Severe 184 Moderate 2,633 Mild 15,420 Not Classifiable 13; Year 2017=Penetrating 73 Severe 134 Moderate 2,559 Mild 15,042 Not Classified 33.

About the Data

Where do the numbers come from?
The data is obtained from multiple sources, including the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch, which operates the Defense Medical Surveillance System, a continuously expanding relational database that documents military and medical experiences of service members throughout their careers. Also, the Theater Medical Data Store, a Web-based application used to track, analyze and manage a service members’ medical treatment information recorded on the battlefield.
How are TBI cases defined?

A TBI case is defined based on the Department of Defense (DoD) Standard Surveillance Case Definition for TBI used by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch for routine surveillance and reporting.

The first inpatient or outpatient TBI medical encounter is identified using billing codes from insurance claims defined in the appropriate version of the International Classification of Diseases. The International Classification of Diseases, 10th edition, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) took effect Oct. 1, 2015, replacing the ICD-9-CM coding guidelines. Military treatment facilities code medical encounters using ICD-10-CM and other DoD specific codes.

If a service member has sustained more than one TBI, are all of them counted?
No. If a service member has had more than one TBI, only one of their injuries is counted for the purpose of this reporting.
If a service member has sustained more than one type of TBI, are both counted?
TBIs are classified as mild, moderate, severe, or penetrating. If a service member has sustained more than one type of TBI, the highest TBI severity is reported. For example, a service member with a previous ‘mild’ TBI will be counted as having a ‘moderate’ TBI if the individual is later diagnosed with a ‘moderate’ TBI. The date of their first TBI medical encounter determines the date on which they’re reported as a TBI surveillance case. This approach is intended to correct situations where new medical information is collected after the initial diagnosis and to avoid over counting the number of service members who have sustained a TBI.
How often are the numbers updated?
The numbers are updated both quarterly and annually. The numbers of service members diagnosed with a TBI for the current year and immediate past calendar year are updated quarterly. For all other years, the numbers are updated annually to reflect changes in the administrative databases. 
What does a quarter cover?
The calendar year is divided into four quarters, often abbreviated Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4. The four quarters that make up the year for the purposes of TBI surveillance reports are:
  • Q1 represents the period January 1 – March 31
  • Q2 represents the period April 1 – June 30
  • Q3 represents the period July 1 – September 30
  • Q4 represents the period October 1 – December 31
What other surveillance activities does DVBIC perform?
DVBIC performs more in-depth analysis on TBI-related data to include descriptions of risk and patterns of health care. Important public health findings are disseminated in medical journals. Health system management internal reports are provided to senior military leaders and may be available to military treatment facilities upon request. For public health purposes, DVBIC also collaborates with the Air Force Medical Readiness Decision Support Systems, Joint Trauma Analysis and Prevention of Injuries in Combat, Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center, and Department of Veterans Affairs. For further information, please email the DVBIC surveillance team.