Aim To describe incidence trends of traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) in Spain.
Methods It is a time series study of patients admitted to hospital in Spain from 2000 to 2008 due to a SCI (ICD9-CM: 806 and 952 in primary diagnosis). The information source was the National Hospital Discharge Register. Mechanisms of injury were classified as road traffic collisions (RT) or other mechanisms (NRT). Annual incidence rates per 1 000 000 inhabitants were calculated, and their trend change over the years was assessed using Poisson regression. Relative risks of the slope were derived, which allowed to estimate the annual average increase or decrease in the rate of SCI.
Results From 2000 to 2008, 9352 persons were hospitalised due to SCI, 34.8% of which due to a RT. Annual age-adjusted incidence rates for RT were of 13.6 for men and of 4.0 for women. For NRT, they were of 22.2 and 8.3, respectively. The highest injury rates were observed among the group of 18–24 years for RT, while among people over 65 years for NRT. Incidence trend for RT showed an annual decrease of −2.4% for men (p=0.002) and of −7.6% for women (p<0.001), whereas no significant changes were observed for NRT.
Conclusions There is a high incidence of SCI in Spain. Road traffic SCI incidence shows a decreasing trend while there are no changes in the incidence caused by other mechanisms.
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