Date included in the review
Number of articles
Level of Evidence
Type of Study
Reviewed articles published from January 1997 to December 2008
Level of evidence:
Type of study:
Epidemiological (retrospective n=11; prospective n=2)
Database: PubMed and EMBASE
2. In North America, studies revealed annual rates between 25.2 and 52.5 per million.
3. Incidence rates of 18.8, 12.7, and 16.9 per million were reported in Taiwan, southeast Turkey and Australia, respectively.
4. Three age groups were found to have a higher incidence of SCI: 15-29, 40-49, and ≥50 years of age.
5. Higher incidence of SCI in males with ratios ranging from 2:1 in Turkey to 6.7:1 in Ireland for traumatic injuries and a lower ratio of 1.3:1 for non-traumatic SCI in Australia.
6. The largest cause of SCI was motor vehicle collisions.
Review of published articles from January 1980 to December 2011
Level of Evidence:
Type of study: Epidemiological (retrospective n=35; prospective n=4)
Databases: PubMed, EBSCO, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Google Scholar
2. Injury ratios between men and women ranged from 0.99:1(Taipei, Taiwan) to 13.5:1 in India.
3. Most common causes of injury were motor vehicle collisions (59.5%) and falls (37.8%).
Reviewed published articles prior to 2011
Replicated search of Wyndaele 2006 without date and language restriction using search phrases (exploded).
Databases: MEDLINE and EMBASE
2. Prevalence rates in South and Southeast Asia were available for India and Vietnam with 236 and 464 per million, respectively.
3. Prevalence rates in Australasia were estimated for Australia and were 370 (1987), 681 (1997), and 540 (1998).
4. Prevalence rates in Western European countries of Finland, Iceland, and Norway were 280 (1999), 316 (1973-1989), and 365 (2002) per million respectively.
5. Prevalence in Canada was estimated at 1173 per million (2001-2002).
6. Prevalence reported for the US (1935- 2006) ranged between 473 and 1009 per million
7. Common causes of SCI reported worldwide were road traffic accidents, falls, and violence.
8. Violence/self-harm was higher in North America (15%) than either Western Europe (6%) or Australia (2%).
9. Sub-saharan Africa has the highest reported violence-related TSCI in the world (38%), followed by north Africa/Middle East (24%), and Latin America (22%).
Review of articles published from 1950 (MEDLINE) or 1980 (the other databases) to December 1, 2012
Type of study: Epidemiological
Database: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PSYCHINFO, and Cochrane databases.
2. In Europe, the estimated incidence rate varied from 8.0 in Spain to 130.6 individuals with traumatic SCI per million inhabitants per year in Bulgaria.
3. Among countries and cities located in Asia , the lowest incidence rate was 14.6 in Taipei, Taiwan (1978-1981) and the highest (1998-2008) with 246.0 people per million per year in all of Taiwan
4. In Oceania, the estimated incidence rate varied from 10.0 (Fiji) to 77.0 (New Zealand) per million per year
5. The prevalence worldwide varied from 50 to 1, 298 cases per million.
Reviewed published articles between 1993 and November 2003
2. Mean age ranged from between 15-24 to 55.4 years of age
3. The ratio male/female ranged from 2.5:1 to 8.1:1
Reviewed articles published prior to April 1, 2011
2. Prevalence rates ranged from 236 (India) to 1800 (US) per million.
3. Average age at the time of injury worldwide varied from 26.8 years (Turkey) to 55.5 years (USA).
4. Overall, SCI occurred more often in men in countries other than Iran and Taiwan where the frequencies of SCI was equal among both genders.
5. Common causes of SCI in decreasing order included traffic accidents, falls, violence, and sports accidents.
Reviewed published articles from 1989 to 2009
Databases: PubMed and MEDLINE
2. Among developing countries, the incidence rates ranged from 12.7 to 29.7 per million.
3. Average age in developed countries ranged from 30.7 to 48.5 years and between 40 and 50 years in the majority of studies conducted in developing countries.
4. First and second most common causes in developed countries were traffic accidents and falls respectively. However falls was the main cause of SCI in developing countries.
Reviewed published articles from 1995 to present
2. In Europe (Turkey, Russia, Portugal, The Netherlands, and France) incidence rates ranged from 10.4 to 29.7 per million.
3. In North America (Alaska, Mississippi, Kentucky, Indiana, Ontario, and Alberta), incidence rates ranged from 27.1 to 83 per million.
4. In Asia (Jordan, Japan, Taiwan, and Fiji Islands), incidence rates ranged from 18.0 to 40.2 per million.
5. In Australia, the crude SCI incidence (1997) was 16.8 per million per year.
6. On average the incidence of SCI worldwide (1977 to 2005) ranged from 29.5 to 34.4 with a higher average reported for the period of 1975-1995.
7. The average age at injury was 28.7 yrs from 1973 to 1979, which has risen to 37.6 yrs in 2000.
8. The sex distribution (M/F) of SCI in recent studies is 3.8/1, where it used to be 4.8/1.
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