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Prospective associations between traumatic brain injury and postdeployment tinnitus in active-duty marines

  • Author(s): Yurgil, KA
  • Clifford, RE
  • Risbrough, VB
  • Geyer, MA
  • Huang, M
  • Barkauskas, DA
  • Vasterling, JJ
  • Baker, DG
  • et al.
Abstract

© 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved. Objective: To examine whether cause, severity, and frequency of traumatic brain injury (TBI) increase risk of postdeployment tinnitus when accounting for comorbid posttraumatic stress disorder. Design: Self-report and clinical assessments were done before and after an "index" deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan. Setting, Participants, and Measures: Assessments took place on Marine Corps bases in southern California and the VA San Diego Medical Center. Participants were 1647 active-duty enlisted Marine and Navy servicemen who completed pre-and postdeployment assessments of the Marine Resiliency Study. The main outcome was the presence of tinnitus at 3 months postdeployment. Results: Predeployment TBI increased the likelihood of new-onset postdeployment tinnitus (odds ratio [OR] = 1.86; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.28-2.70). Deployment-related TBIs increased the likelihood of postdeployment tinnitus (OR = 2.65; 95% CI, 1.19-5.89). Likelihood of new-onset postdeployment tinnitus was highest for those who were blast-exposed (OR = 2.93; 95% CI, 1.82-6.17), who reported moderatesevere TBI symptoms (OR = 2.22; 95% CI, 1.22-3.40), and who sustained multiple TBIs across study visits (OR = 2.27; 95% CI, 1.44-4.24). Posttraumatic stress disorder had no effect on tinnitus outcome. Conclusions: Participants who were blast-exposed, sustained multiple TBIs, and reported moderate-severe TBI symptoms were most at risk for new-onset tinnitus.

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