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Spinal Cord. 2017 Jul;55(7):651-658. doi: 10.1038/sc.2017.23. Epub 2017 Mar 14.

Long-term survival after traumatic spinal cord injury: a 70-year British study.

Author information

1
National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Buckinghamshire, UK.
2
University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA.
3
North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre, Southport Hospital, Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust, Merseyside, UK.
4
Craig Hospital, Englewood, CO, USA.

Abstract

STUDY DESIGN:

Retrospective and prospective observational.

OBJECTIVES:

Analyse long-term survival after traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) in Great Britain over the 70-year study period, identify mortality risk factors and estimate current life expectancy.

SETTING:

Two spinal centres in Great Britain.

METHODS:

The sample consisted of patients with traumatic SCI injured 1943-2010 who survived the first year post-injury, had residual neurological deficit on discharge and were British residents. Life expectancy and trends over time were estimated by neurological grouping, age and gender, using logistic regression of person-years of follow-up combined with standard life table calculations.

RESULTS:

For the 5483 cases of traumatic SCI the mean age at injury was 35.1 years, 79.7% were male, 31.1% had tetraplegia AIS/Frankel ABC, 41.2% paraplegia ABC,and 27.7% functionally incomplete lesion (all Ds). On 31 December 2014, 54% were still alive, 42.3% had died and 3.7% were lost to follow-up. Estimated life expectancies improved significantly between the 1950s and 1980s, plateaued during the next two decades, before slightly improving again since 2010. The estimated current life expectancy, compared with the general British population, ranged from 18.1 to 88.4% depending on the ventilator dependency, level and completeness of injury, age and gender.

CONCLUSIONS:

Life expectancy after SCI improved significantly between the 1950s and 1980s, plateaued during the 1990s and 2000s, before slightly improving again since 2010, but still remains well below that of the general British population.

SPONSORSHIP:

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust Charitable Spinal Fund and Ann Masson Legacy for Spinal Research Fund, UK.

PMID:
28290467
DOI:
10.1038/sc.2017.23
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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