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Paraplegia. 1994 Jan;32(1):3-8.

Spinal cord injuries in Japan: a nationwide epidemiological survey in 1990.

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San-in Rosai Hospital, Yonago, Japan.


To survey the situation of traumatic spinal cord injuries (SCI) in Japan, the SCI Prevention Committee of the Japanese Medical Society of Paraplegia sent out by mail study charts in the form of questionnaires to institutions nationwide. Using the statistical method of the nationwide epidemiological survey described by Hashimoto et al,1 the annual estimated incidence was obtained from the number of patients registered, and from the questionnaire reply rate at each prefecture. The number of registered patients in 1990 was 3465 and the mean reply rate was 56.6%. There were 2665 registered patients with a neurological deficit (Frankel A-D) and the annual SCI incidence was 39.4 per million. The male:female ratio was 4.3:1 and the ratio of cervical cord injures to those caudal to the cervical cord was 2.9:1. The mean age at the time of injury was 48.5 years. The cause most frequently seen was traffic accidents, the second most frequent being falls from a height. Besides those two, sports injuries and falls on level ground were the third most frequent causes of SCI in the young generation and in elderly people respectively.

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