Incidence of traumatic spinal cord injury worldwide: A systematic review
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Purpose: Traumatic spinal cord injuries (TSCI) are among the most devastating conditions in developed and developing countries, which can be prevented. The situation of TSCI around the world is not well understood which complicates the preventive policy decision making in fight against TSCI. This study was aimed to gather the available information about incidence of TSCI around the world. Methods: A systematic search strategy was designed and run in Medline and EMBASE, along with extensive grey literature search, personal communications, website searching, and reference checking of related papers. Results: Overall, 133 resources including 101 papers, 17 trauma registries, 6 conference proceedings, 5 books, 2 theses and 2 personal communication data were retrieved. Data were found for 41 individual countries. The incidence of TSCI ranges from 3.6 to 195.4 patients per million around the world. Australia, Canada, US, and high-income European countries have various valuable reports of TSCI, while African and Asian countries lack the appropriate epidemiologic data on TSCI. Conclusion: Data of epidemiologic information in TSCI are available for 41 countries of the world, which are mostly European and high-income countries. Researches and efforts should be made to gather information in developing and low-income countries to plan appropriate cost-effective preventive strategies in fight against TSCI. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.