Incidence and Risk Factors of Pediatric Spinal Cord Injury

Kids Running Around Living Room with Caregiver Sitting on Couch

In a large study of nearly 5,000 medical cases, researchers recently outlined the specific incidence and risk factors for children who suffer from a spinal cord injury. They found that:

1. Almost 67% of all injuries were cervical spinal cord injury.
2. 75% of the cervical spinal cord injuries were of a traumatic origin.
3. The risk of traumatic cervical spinal cord injury was highest (70%) for male teenage children.
4. Older male children who lived in more rural areas had the highest risk of spinal cord injury overall.

The researchers pointed out that the most disturbing finding of their study was that older children of lower socioeconomic status and living in rural areas were at a risk of a spinal cord injury at least 127 times that of the corresponding group. They felt that the information was not only important for the care of the patients, but also for future health care policy.

Chien L-C, Wu J-C, Chen Y-C, et al. Age, sex, and socio-economic status affect the incidence of pediatric spinal cord injury: An eleven-year national cohort study. PLoS One. (June 2012).