Incidence trends of traumatic spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury in Spain, 2000-2009

Katherine Pérez, Ana M. Novoa, Elena Santamariña-Rubio, Yislenz Narvaez, Vita Arrufat, Carme Borrell, Elena Cabeza, Eva Cirera, Josep Ferrando, Anna García-Altés, Juan Carlos Gonzalez-Luque, Vicenta Lizarbe, Carlos Martin-Cantera, María Seguí-Gómez, Josep M. Suelves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Aims: The aim of the present study was to estimate the incidence of hospital discharges for traumatic spinal cord injury (TSCI) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) in Spain by injury circumstances (traffic crashes and others), injury severity, gender and age group and to describe its trends over the period 2000-2009. Methods: It is a study of trends that includes hospital discharges with a primary diagnosis of TSCI or TBI. Crude and age-standardised rates were calculated per million inhabitants. Changes in rates between 2000 and 2009 were assessed through calculation of the relative risk adjusted for age, using Poisson regression. Results: Between 2000 and 2009 in Spain, 10,274 patients were admitted for traumatic TSCI, and 206,503 for TBI. The annual incidence rate for TSCI was 23.5 per million, that for TBI was 472.6 per million. The overall incidence rate for TSCI fell significantly between 2000 and 2009 by 24.2% (traffic-related 40.9%, other 12.9%), as did that for TBI (23.8% overall, 60.2% traffic-related, with no change for other circumstances). Among people aged 65 years and over, no change was observed for TSCI, incidence of TBI fell significantly when due to traffic crashes, but there was a dramatic increase of 87% in men and 89.3% in women when due to other circumstances. Conclusions: Over the last decade the incidence of these types of injury has fallen significantly when the injury resulted from traffic crashes, and to a lesser extent when from other circumstances. However TBI incidence among people aged 65 and over injured in non-traffic-related circumstances has risen dramatically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-44
Number of pages8
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Epidemiology
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Traffic accidents
  • Trauma
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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