Prevalence of non-traumatic spinal cord injury in Victoria, Australia

Peter W New, Angela Farry, David Baxter, Vanessa Noonan

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Forecasting using population modelling. Objectives: To determine the prevalence of non-traumatic spinal cord injury (NTSCI) on 30 June 2010. Setting: Victoria, Australia. Methods: Modelling used the following data: incidence of NTSCI based on state-wide, population-based, health-administration database of hospital admissions; state and national population profiles and life tables; levels of NTSCI based on national rehabilitation outcomes data; and life expectancy for persons with SCI. Results: The total population prevalence rate was 367.2 per million, whereas the prevalence in adults aged 16 years and older was estimated to be 2027, equivalent to a population prevalence rate of 455 per million persons. There were more males (1097) with NTSCI (prevalence rate males 197.8 per million population; females 169.1 per million population) and the prevalence was much higher among those with paraplegia (prevalence rate 269.3 per million compared to 97.8 per million with tetraplegia) and incomplete NTSCI. Ventilator dependency (prevalence rate 1.6 per million population) and paediatric NTSCI (prevalence rate 6 per million population =15 years old) were extremely rare. Conclusion: We have reported a method for calculating an estimate of the prevalence of NTSCI that provides information that will be vital to optimise health care planning for this group of highly disabled members of society. It is suggested that refinements to the modelling methods are required to enhance its reliability. Future projects should be directed at refining the mortality ratios and performing cohort survival studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99 - 102
Number of pages4
JournalSpinal Cord
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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