Etiology and epidemiology of spinal cord injury in Koreaopen access
- Shin, Heesuk
- Issue Date
- KOREAN MEDICAL ASSOC
- Spinal cord injuries; Etiology; Epidemiology; Korea
- JOURNAL OF THE KOREAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, v.63, no.10, pp.589 - 595
- Journal Title
- JOURNAL OF THE KOREAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
- Start Page
- End Page
- Acute spinal cord injury (SCI) is a catastrophic traumatic event that affects the physical and psychological well-being of individuals and results in considerable socio-economic losses. SCI is an incurable condition; therefore, prevention is critical. Thorough understanding of the epidemiology of SCI is essential to implement optimal preventive measures and effectively plan clinical services. The incidence of SCI was 54 and 40.2 cases per million population in the United States and Japan, respectively; however, national statistical data regarding SCI are unavailable in Korea. Considering that the incidence in Korea is similar to that observed in the United States or Japan, it is estimated that 2,000 to 2,500 new cases of SCI are observed in Korea annually. The male:female ratio is 3:1 to 5:1 in most countries and 3:1 in Korea. More than 50% of patients with SCI are aged <30 years at the time of the injury. However, the incidence of SCI is rapidly increasing in elderly individuals and in women. The most common causes of SCI in descending order of frequency include traffic accidents, falls, sports injuries, and violence. Incomplete injury is increasingly being observed in recent times in contrast to a higher incidence of complete injury reported previously. It is important to establish an accurate comprehensive statistical database in Korea, similar to The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, USA.
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