Content » Vol 42, Issue 5

Original report

Increased cardiovascular disease risk in Swedish persons with paraplegia: The Stockholm spinal cord injury study

Kerstin Wahman, Mark S. Nash, John E. Lewis , Åke Seiger, Richard Levi
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-0541


Objective: Comparison of prevalence of cardiovascular
disease risks in persons with chronic traumatic paraplegia with those in the general population.
Design: Cross-sectional comparative study.
Subjects: A total of 135 individuals, age range 18–79 years, with chronic (≥ 1 year) traumatic paraplegia.
Methods: The prevalences of diabetes mellitus, dyslipid­aemia, hypertension, overweight, and smoking, were assessed in the study population and were compared with an age- and gender-matched sample of the general population in the region under study. History of myocardial infarction and medication for dyslipidaemia, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus were also recorded. χ2 tests were used to compare the paraplegic cohort with the general population sample.
Results: Significantly more persons with paraplegia reported a history of myocardial infarction (5.9%) than those in the comparison group (0.7%). The prevalences of diabetes mellitus (5.9%), dyslipidaemia (11.1%), and hypertension (14.1%) were also significantly higher in the paraplegic group, as were drug treatment for these disorders.
Conclusion: Persons with paraplegia report increased prevalences of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and dyslipidaemia, in particular, compared with the general population. Popu­lation-based screening and therapeutic counter-measures for these conditions may therefore be particularly indicated for this patient group.

Lay Abstract


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