Epidemiology of Spinal Cord Injury Incidence

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The incidence in different American states varies, due to a combination of differences in reporting procedures, differences in underlying population characteristics such as age, sex, ethnic groups, and educational levels; and differences in geographical and interrelated social factors such as climate, degree of urbanization, driving patterns, road conditions, gun ownership, and alcohol consumption.

State Period of study Incidence Mortality (cases

(%) per million population)

Northern California

1970-

71

32.2

21.3

Minnesota (Olmsted

County)

1975-

81

49.6

21.2

Houston/Galveston, Texas

1981

60.0

-

Alabama

1973-

77

29.4

-

National (247 hospitals)

1974

50.0

-

National

1970-

77

40.1

-

Florida (pooled data)

1980

40.3

-

1984

33.1

-

Virginia

1979

33.1

-

1984

29.5

-

1990-

92

29.6

-

Arkansas

1980

32.4

-

1989

26.6

-

New York

1982-

88

43.0

-

Louisiana

1990

37.7

-

1991

46.0

-

Georgia

1991 -

92

46.1

-

Colorado

1989-

92

37.7

-

Utah

1989-

91

35.0

8.0

Oklahoma

1988-

92

41.0

6.0

Delaware

1990

30.0

-

United States

30.0-40.0

State

Period

Prevalence (cases per

of study

million population)

Statewide (USA)

1974

130.0

Statewide (USA)

1975

525.0

Minnesota (Olmsted County)

1980

473.0

- With net population migration

583.0

Area sampling of the USA

1988

Age (y)

Cases(%)

0-15

4.5

16-30

58.5

31 -45

21.1

46-60

9.7

61 -75

4.9

76-95

1.3

Ethnic Groups and Spinal Cord Injury

Ethnic group

Cases(%)

White

70.1

African-American

19.6

American Indian

1.3

Asian

1.2

Other

Type of injury Cases (%)

Motor vehicle 44.5

Falls 18.1

Acts of violence 16.6

Sports 12.7

Other 8.1

Associated Injuries

Associated injuries _Ecology (%)

Motor vehicle

Falls

Acts of violence

Sports

Other

Total

Fractures

39.7

30.5

16.0

5.7

35.4

29.3

Loss of consciousness

42.5

24.0

8.1

22.4

26.2

28.2

Head injury

18.4

10.3

2.5

4.2

11.4

11.5

Brachial plexus injury

1.2

0.8

1.8

0.2

2.8

1.3

Peripheral nerve injury

1.1

0.8

2.2

0.2

1.6

1.2

Traumatic

- pneumothorax

16.6

10.1

35.9

2.7

16.6

17.8

- hemothorax

Other

34.4

49.5

50.4

69.4

54.5

45.9

Neurological Level of Injury (at Discharge)

Cervical Thoracic Lumbar Sacral

C1

0.7

C2

1.0

C3

2.2

C4

12.8

C5

16.0

C6

12.9

C7

6.7

T1

1.2

T2

1.6

T3

2.0

T4

4.1

T5

3.1

T6

3.3

T7

2.3

T8

3.4

T9

1.8

T10

3.7

T11

3.0

T12

7.4

L1

4.6

L2

2.0

L3

1.8

L4

1.0

L5

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