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Comment & Response
October 20, 2015

Trends in Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

Author Affiliations
  • 1International Center for Spinal Cord Injury, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 2Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 3Center for Surgery and Public Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2015;314(15):1643. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.11194

To the Editor The use of the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) by Dr Jain and colleagues1 to estimate trends in the incidence of traumatic spinal cord injury in the United States raises several questions. Their finding of an incidence of 53 to 54 cases per 1 million inpatient hospitalizations appears only slightly lower than the cumulative incidence estimates from a study based on the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (56.4 per 1 million), which used a more conservative approach to define acute traumatic spinal cord injury by including only persons with a principal diagnosis.2