Age Impacts Treatment Time, Options in Spinal Cord Injury Patients

By Rachel Lutz

Older spinal cord injury patients are less likely to get surgery than younger patients with the same injury, according to research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).

Researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada observed 1,440 patients with traumatic spinal cord injury in order to evaluate the impact of older age (defined as greater than 70 years) on treatment decisions and outcomes.

The researchers recruited participants for whom consent and detailed data were available between the years of 2004 and 2013 located at any of the 31 acute care and rehabilitation hospitals participating in a spinal cord injury registry.   Patients were divided into groups based on age: older or younger than 70 years. The majority of spinal cord injury patients ranged in age from 16 to 30 years, though the number of people with this injury over the age 70 is increasing, the researchers noted.


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