Abstract Information


Multiple Chronic Conditions and Health Related Behaviors among Persons with Spinal Cord Injury

Cao Y, Krause J
Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, United states

Objective: The occurrence of multiple chronic conditions (MCC) is an important public health issue in the general population, as those with MCC are more likely to take medications and see more than one clinician, which can result in inconsistent care (National Quality Forum, 2012). For those with spinal cord injury (SCI), their disability would likely exacerbate these issues. This study attempted to identify the prevalence of MCC among people with SCI and assess the association between health-related behaviors and MCC.

Design/Method: This cross-sectional study included 627 participants with SCI identified from the South Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Surveillance Registry (SCSCISR) and who met the following criteria: (1) traumatic SCI, (2) minimum of 1-year post-injury, and (3) between 18 and 64 years old at the time of measurement. We assessed 11 chronic health conditions (diabetes, heart attack, angina, stroke, arthritis, skin cancer, other types of cancer, kidney disease, asthma, depression, and COPD) by using self-report questions of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. We defined MCC as “having three or more concurrent chronic health conditions.” We developed multivariate logistic regression models to identify the association between smoking, binge drinking, planned exercise and MCC after controlling for demographic and injury characteristics.

Results: We found that 23.8% of participants had MCC at the time of assessment. After controlling for age, gender, race/ethnicity, injury level, ambulatory status, years post-injury, household income, and education, MCC was significantly associated with smoking and planned exercise. Participants who had planned exercises at least 3 times a week were 51% less likely to develop MCC than others, and those who ever smoked at least 100 cigarettes were 90% more likely to have MCC than non-smokers.

Conclusion: Health-related behaviors have important impacts on MCC among people with SCI.

Support: Administration for Community Living, NIDILRR grant 90IF0070


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