In order to compare the longevity of paraplegic or quadriplegic patients with the longevity of the general population, special statistical procedures have been developed. Data from a series of 5,575 patients grouped according to age permitted comparison with corresponding age-groups from the general population. During the first year after the trauma to the spinal cord the patients showed a mortality 5 to 10 times as high as that among patients who survived the first year. Thereafter the life expectancy increased markedly. Of a group of paraplegic or quadriplegic patients who were under 35 years of age at time of injury and who had survived the first year after injury, 80% were likely to be alive 10 years after injury. The disparity of life expectancy between injured and normal people increased markedly in the older age-groups.
Burke MH, Hicks AF, Robins M, Kessler H. SURVIVAL OF PATIENTS WITH INJURIES OF THE SPINAL CORD. JAMA. 1960;172(2):121–124. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020020001001
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