Change in body mass index within the first-year post-injury: a VA Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) model systems study

Academic Article


  • Objective: To describe change in body mass index (BMI) and weight classification 1-year post- traumatic brain injury (TBI) among Veterans and service members. Design: Prospective observational cohort study. Setting: VA Polytrauma Rehabilitation Centers. Participants: Veterans and service members (N = 84) enrolled in VA Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems (VA TBIMS) study with BMI scores at enrollment and 1-year post-injury. Interventions: N/A. Main outcome measures: BMI scores from height and weight and weight classifications (underweight, normal weight, overweight, obese classes 1–3) defined by WHO. Results: Twenty per cent were obese at time of injury and 24% were obese at 1-year post-injury. Cross-tab analyses revealed 7% of normal weight and 24% overweight participants at time of injury as obese Class 1 one-year post-injury. Univariate models found BMI and tobacco smoking at time of injury were significant predictors of higher BMI scores 1-year post-TBI. Multivariable models found BMI at time of injury and motor functioning, were significant predictors. Preinjury BMI, tobacco smoking and PTSD symptom severity predicted change in weight category. Conclusion: While obesity among service members and Veterans post-TBI is below national averages, trends in weight gain between time of injury and 1-year follow-up were observed. Implications for health promotion and chronic disease management efforts with regards to rehabilitation for injured military are discussed. List of Abbreviations: BMI, Body mass index; BRFSS, Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance; GCS, Glasgow Coma Scale; FIM, Functional Independence Measure; NIDILRR, National Institute on Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research; PCL-C, PTSD checklist-civilian; PSTD, Post-traumatic stress disorder; VA, Veterans Affairs; VA PRC, Veterans Affairs Polytrauma Rehabilitation; VA TBIMS, Veterans Affairs TBI Model Systems;.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Brain Injury  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Brown RM; Tang X; Dreer LE; Driver S; Pugh MJ; Martin AM; McKenzie-Hartman T; Shea T; Silva MA; Nakase-Richardson R
  • Start Page

  • 986
  • End Page

  • 993
  • Volume

  • 32
  • Issue

  • 8