Author(s): Majdan M, , Brazinova A, , Mauritz W
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Abstract PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to analyse the epidemiological patterns (mortality, incidence of non-fatal cases and overall incidence), of traumatic spinal cord injuries (TSCI) in 2002-2012 in Austria. METHODS: TSCI-related deaths and hospital admissions in Austria 2002-2012 were obtained from Statistics Austria and analysed. Mortality rates, as well as non-fatal and overall incidence rates were calculated and compared across the age spectrum and by sex. Additionally, the main causes and demographic characteristics of victims were analysed. RESULTS: The crude overall incidence rate of TSCI was 16.96, CI 95 \% 16.95-16.97 and the standardized incidence rate was 13.98, CI 95 \% 13.97-13.99 per million (annual average rate). An annual increase in fatality rates was observed occurring mostly in the age group >65 years (Kendall's Tau = 0.1). Falls (mortality rate 19.58, CI 95 \% 19.57-19.59) and injuries at home (incidence rate 56.57, CI 95 \% 56.56-56.58) were the principal causes of fatal and non-fatal TSCI, respectively. Injuries to the neck region were the most common. All indicators were the highest for the age group >65 years: non-fatal incidence rate 23.55, CI 95 \% 23.54-23.56; mortality rate 21.4, CI 95 \% 21.39-21.41; and overall incidence rate 47.9, CI 95 \% 47.89-47.91. A clear male dominance was observed (incidence rate ratio 1.9, CI 95 \% 1.4-2.7). CONCLUSION: The population >65 years has been at the highest risk of TSCI in Austria for the analysed period and therefore preventive activities should be focused on this group. The increasing overall incidence of TSCI was driven by the increasing mortality rates that were highest in the age group >65 years. We advocate harmonization of epidemiological reporting especially regarding aetiology of TSCI in order to better inform policy makers and prevention.
This article was published in Eur Spine J
and referenced in Journal of Tissue Science & Engineering