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Spinal Cord. 2010 Apr;48(4):330-5. doi: 10.1038/sc.2009.135. Epub 2009 Oct 13.

Understanding age effects associated with changes in secondary health conditions in a Canadian spinal cord injury cohort.

Author information

1
Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, Lyndhurst Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. hitzig.sander@torontorehab.on.ca

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN:

Longitudinal cohort.

OBJECTIVES:

To determine whether changes in secondary health conditions (SHC) associated with spinal cord injury (SCI) were effectively modeled from a longitudinal or cross-sectional perspective, and whether the changes in SHCs were attributable to age or years post-injury (YPI).

SETTING:

Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, Lyndhurst Centre.

METHODS:

Telephone survey methods were used to collect data on (1) demographics, (2) impairment, (3) health status, and (4) self-reported SHCs at two time intervals (1995-1997; 2003-2004) from 344 adults with SCI. Generalized estimating equations were applied to model the longitudinal and cross-sectional effects.

RESULTS:

Health status decreased over time (P<0.0005), whereas the number of SHCs increased (P<0.0001). Regardless of age or YPI, the longitudinal component of aging better predicted SHC occurrence and was associated with spasticity [odds ratio, OR=1.055 (95% confidence interval, CI, 1.018 to 1.093, P<0.01)], kidney problems [OR=1.154 (95% CI, 1.084 to 1.229, P<0.0001)], cardiac problems [OR=1.168 (95% CI, 1.060 to 1.286, P<0.01)], high blood pressure [OR=1.121 (95% CI, 1.058 to 1.188, P<0.0001)], chronic pain [OR=1.058 (95% CI, 1.021 to 1.096, P<0.01)], and arthritis/joint pain [OR=1.113 (95% CI, 1.075 to 1.152, P<0.0001)].

CONCLUSION:

Within a relatively short period of time, persons with SCI experienced substantive declines in health. The findings suggest that a longitudinal perspective is more sensitive for predicting the risk of self-reported SHCs than a cross-sectional one.

PMID:
19823193
DOI:
10.1038/sc.2009.135
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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