Summary – Frequency of SCI by Cause

Previous studies have indicated a lack of uniformity in data collection and reporting of information related to the various causes of SCI (Ackery et al. 2004). Because of this, it is difficult to compare results of individual studies. Nonetheless, as a result of our review, we have found that the most common causes of SCI reported around the world are motor vehicle crashes, falls, sports, violence, self-harm, and work-related accidents. Althoughmost SCI results from these risks, a single natural disaster, such as an earthquake, may result in a sudden high burden of trauma in the affected populations. Depending on the type, intensity and extent of a disaster, such incidents can cause a large number of SCIs at one time, and therefore, deserve particular attention as a cause of SCI.

In order to truly understand what causes the large differences in SCI occurrence there is a need for a common approach to evaluate and report on the causes of SCIs in the various regions of the world (Ackery et al. 2004). Therefore, future epidemiological studies on SCI should employ commonly agreed methods of data collection and reporting in order to improve the comparability of data between regions. Such information will lead not only to greater usability of worldwide statistics on SCI, but also to better international injury prevention programs.