Incidence of traumatic spinal cord injury in Italy during 2013-2014: a population-based study

S Ferro, L Cecconi, J Bonavita, M C Pagliacci, A Biggeri, M Franceschini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


STUDY DESIGN: Observational prospective population-based incidence study.

OBJECTIVES: The main objective of this study was to assess the incidence of traumatic spinal cord injuries (TSCIs) and incidence rates, in order to provide estimates by age, gender, characteristics and cause.

SETTING: This study was conducted at acute-care spinal cord injury (SCI) hospitals and SCI centers from 11 Italian regions, between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2014.

METHODS: Data of all consecutive patients with acute TSCI who met the inclusion criteria were obtained through case reporting by clinicians. The data were collected into a web database. Incidence rates and incidence rate ratios were calculated and stratified by age, gender, cause, level and completeness.

RESULTS: From 50% of the entire population of Italy, 445 new cases of TSCI were included. The crude incidence rate of TSCI was 14.7 cases per million per year (95% CI: 13.4-16.4); the overall male to female ratio was 4:1 and the mean age was 54. Complete information was available in 85% of the sample and revealed tetraplegia in 58% and incomplete lesion in 67% of cases. The leading cause of TSCI was falls (40.9%) followed by road traffic accidents (33.5%). The leading cause was falls for patients over 55 and road traffic accidents for patients under 55.

CONCLUSION: The changing trend of TSCI epidemiology concerns the increase in the average age of TSCI people and the increase of both cervical and incomplete lesions. The etiology shows the primacy of falls over road traffic accidents and suggests the need for a change in prevention policies.Spinal Cord advance online publication, 5 September 2017; doi:10.1038/sc.2017.88.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1103–1107
JournalSpinal Cord
Early online dateSep 5 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Journal Article


Dive into the research topics of 'Incidence of traumatic spinal cord injury in Italy during 2013-2014: a population-based study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this