11. tbl. 102. árg. 2016

Epidemiology of Spinal Cord Injury in Iceland from 1975 to 2014

Mænuskaði af völdum slysa á Íslandi á árunum 1975-2014

Epidemiology of Spinal Cord Injury in Iceland from 1975 to 2014

Introduction: Traumatic spinal cord injury (TSCI) is serious and often has long-term consequences. Since no cure has been found the emphasis has been on preventive measures. The incidence of TSCI varies between countries and the epidemiology has been changing. The aim of this study was to gather epidemiological data on patients with TSCI in Iceland and search for risk factors.

Material and methods: Hospital records of everyone diagnosed with TSCI in 1975-2014 admitted to Landspitali University Hospital were reviewed and information gathered on incidence, age, gender and causes of injury. The American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale (AIS) was used to assess the extent of TSCI.

Results: A total of 233 patients were diagnosed with TSCI during the study period or 26 per million annually on average. Males were 73% and the mean age was 39 years. Traffic accidents were the most common cause of TSCI. The majority were car rollovers in rural areas. Around 50% did not use a seatbelt. The second most common cause of TSCI were falls. The most common sport/leisure accidents were those related to horseback-riding and winter sports. A third of patients had a complete SCI. At discharge 9% had gained full recovery.

Conclusions: Safe roads and good traffic culture are essential factors in the prevention of serious traffic accidents. Strict safety regulations in the work place and an investigation of causes of falls amongst the elderly could decrease SCIs due to falls. Further preventive measures and protective equipment could possibly be of use in sport- or leisure-related activities.

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Figure 5 - Annual private consumption in Iceland in 1990-2014

Figure 6 - Annual investments in the construction industry in Iceland in 1990-2014

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