Long-term impact of abusive head trauma in young children: Outcomes at 5 and 11 years old

Jordan E. Jackson, Alana L. Beres, Christina M. Theodorou, Beatrice Ugiliweneza, Maxwell Boakye, Miriam A Nuno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: : Abusive head trauma (AHT) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among young children. We aimed to evaluate the long-term impact of AHT. Methods: : Using administrative claims from 2000–2018, children <3 years old with documented AHT who had follow-up through ages 5 and 11 years were identified. The primary outcome was incidence of neurodevelopmental disability and the secondary outcome was the effect of age at time of AHT on long-term outcomes. Results: : 1,165 children were identified with follow-up through age 5; 358 also had follow-up through age 11. The incidence of neurodevelopmental disability was 68.0% (792/1165) at 5 years of age and 81.6% (292/358) at 11 years of age. The incidence of disability significantly increased for the 358 children followed from 5 to 11 years old (+14.3 percentage points, p<0.0001). Children <1 year old at the time of AHT were more likely to develop disabilities when compared to 2 year olds. Conclusions: : AHT is associated with significant long-term disability by age 5 and the incidence increased by age 11 years. There is an association between age at time of AHT and long-term outcomes. Efforts to improve comprehensive follow-up as children continue to age is important. Level of Evidence: : IV

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Abusive head trauma
  • Child abuse
  • Disability
  • Long-term outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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