Abstract Information


An in-depth analysis of the age profile of people sustaining spinal cord injury in Ireland

1Smith E, 2Fitzpatrick P
1National Rehabilitation Hospital, Dublin, , Ireland; 2University College Dublin, Dublin, , Ireland

Background: In the developed world, more older people are sustaining traumatic spinal cord injury (TSCI), resulting in higher mean age at onset. Although less epidemiological information is available on non-traumatic spinal cord injury (NTSCI) globally, it is considered a condition of the aging population. The objective of this paper was to analyse the age profile of people sustaining a spinal cord injury in Ireland since 2010.
Methods: Data from 3 population-based studies were pooled and re-analysed: retrospective study of TSCI epidemiology, 2010 - 2015; prospective study of TSCI epidemiology, 2016 and prospective study of NTSCI epidemiology, 2017.
Results: Mean (SD) age of TSCI onset has increased from 44.1 (19.3) in 2010 to 52.9 (19.5) in 2016. Over this time period, age at TSCI onset ranged from 16 to 98 years. Age at TSCI onset was significantly higher in those sustaining falls compared with all other causes and in those with incomplete tetraplegia compared with other injury levels/ASIA impairment scales. To date in 2017, mean age at NTSCI onset is 59 years (15.4), range 29 to 87 years. Degenerate conditions are the most common cause; statistical relationships have not yet been explored.
Based on guidelines for reporting results using ISCoS core datasets, the largest age-group at TSCI onset was 61 - 75 years, followed by 16 - 30 years; the largest age group at NTSCI onset is 61 - 75 years, followed by 46 - 60 years.
Conclusions: In Ireland, there is an upward trend in the age profile of people sustaining TSCI. Results to date also suggest that NTSCI is more likely to occur in older people.


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