Aging Table 10: Systematic Review of Secondary Complications of Multiple Systems

Author Year; Country

Date included in the review

Total Sample Size
Level of Evidence

Type of study




Jensen et al. 2013;



Reviewed published articles from 1986 to 2011




Level of Evidence:

Methodological quality not assessed


Type of study:

Not specified



Method: Searches of electronic databases for studies published in English from 1986–2011 that provided information regarding the prevalence, course or associations with age and duration of secondary health conditions in human adults (>18 yrs of age) with SCI.

No interventions studied.

Outcome Measures:  any findings regarding the frequency or prevalence, severity, time course, and/or age and duration of effects of a health condition.

Databases: PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO.

  1. The findings show that individuals with SCI experience a number of secondary health conditions, many of which occur at a higher rate in those with SCI than the normative population.
  2. The most common conditions or symptoms are pain, bowel and bladder regulation problems, muscle spasms, fatigue, esophageal symptoms and osteoporosis.
  3. A number of these conditions – including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, bone mineral density loss, fatigue and respiratory complications or infections – occur with higher frequency in older individuals or those with longer SCI duration, relative to younger individuals or those with shorter SCI duration.
  4. There is a lack of longitudinal research examining the natural course of health conditions in individuals aging with SCI – the findings from limited studies are often inconsistent, with only cardiovascular disease and weight (as measured by BMI) showing increases over time.