Spinal Cord Injury Patients Face Higher Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

spinal%20cord.jpgPatients with spinal cord injury may have a much higher risk of suffering stroke, heart attack or other forms of cardiovascular disease. In fact, for these patients, cardiovascular disease has risen to the leading cause of fatality.

Previously, spinal cord injury patients were exposed to a number of potentially fatal conditions that increased the risk of fatality, like septicemia, pneumonia and renal failure. Now however, cardiovascular disease has emerged as the leading cause of fatality for such patients.

The information came from recent research conducted by Canadian health scientists. The research found a 2.72 times higher risk of heart disease among patients who have suffered a spinal cord injury. Among patients with stroke, the risk was nearly 4 times higher for patients with spinal cord injury.

The research involved self-reported outcomes for more than 60,000 Canadian participants. The primary outcomes were heart disease and stroke. The researchers found that out of the total respondents, 354 participants reported suffering spinal injury as well as cardiovascular disease. 356 persons reported a spinal cord injury and a stroke.

Close to 60% of the men reported spinal cord injury and one form of cardiovascular disease compared to a rate of 40.5% for women.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 200,000 people are currently living with spinal cord injuries in the United States. Every year, approximately 12,000 more cases of spinal cord injury are added to the population of spinal injury patients.

Among the causes of spinal cord injury, the most dominant are motor vehicle accidents which contribute to 46% of all spinal cord injuries that occur in the United States. Fall accidents contribute to approximately 22% of the injuries, violence contributes to 60% and sports-related accidents contribute to 12% of all spinal injuries.

It is concerning that males account for an overwhelming majority of all spinal injury victims in the United States. Even more disturbing is the fact that males below the age of 30 years account for the majority of spinal injury victims with approximately 50% to 70% of the injuries occurring among victims aged between 15 and 35 years of age.

There is no complete cure for spinal injury, and therefore the most effective cure is prevention of these injuries. While traveling in a car, wear a seatbelt at all times, even when you’re a passenger in the backseat. The CDC estimates that the risk of suffering a spinal injury drops by 60% if a motor vehicle occupant is wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. If your car is equipped with a seatbelt as well as an airbag, the risk of an injury drops by 80%.

The Indiana car accident lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson Kennedy LLP represent persons who have been injured in car accidents across Indiana.