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Life Expectancy/health Issues For Sci Ppl.




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22 replies to this topic

#1 Jinx

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Posted 29 April 2007 - 10:36 PM

Hi,

Just fishing for some info on how SCI affects life expectancy, and what health problems we can specifically expect to experience as we get older.

I know this is a bit morbid but does anyone know what the main causes of death are for SCI pp?

Tim.

#2 Survivor35

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 01:49 AM

Hey there. I just recently developed a major report due to a insurance settlement that I am still fighting for, and a lot of these statistics came into play. Do a google search, and thats the best way to find some of this info. Just to save you a little time, heres a few tidbits. Morbid? No. Depressing? Somewhat.....

Cause of Rehospitalization (%)
Complications Primary Secondary Total %
Urinary tract 29.6 12.8 42.4
Skin 16.6 12.1 28.7
Respiratory system 12.6 4.2 16.8
Nervous system 8.4 8.2 16.6
Digestive system 8.2 6.8 15.0
Injury 6.3 0 6.3
Psycho-social 4.7 2.8 7.5
Musculoskeletal 4.4 4.0 8.4
Cardiovascular 3.5 1.6 5.1
Endocrine/blood 2.1 8.6 10.7
Other 3.6 0.2 3.8

Causes of Death
The most common cause of death is respiratory ailment, whereas, in the past it was renal failure. An increasing number of people with SCI are dying of unrelated causes such as cancer or cardiovascular disease, similar to that of the general population. Mortality rates are significantly higher during the first year after injury than during subsequent years.

© 2002-07 Spinal Cord Injury Information Pages | Website by: MCG Web Development


Life Expectancy for Persons who survive the first 24 hours Age at Injury No SCI Motor Functional at any Level Para Low Tetra (C5-C8) High Tetra (C1-C4) Ventilator Dependent
at any Level
20 yrs 58.4 52.8 45.6 40.6 36.1 16.6
40 yrs 39.5 34.3 28.0 23.5 23.8 20.2
60 yrs 22.2 17.9 13.1 10.2 7.9 1.4



Life Expectancy for Persons who survive at least 1 year post-injury Age at Injury No SCl Motor Functional at any Level Para Low Tetra (C5-C8) High Tetra (C1-C4) Ventilator Dependent
at any Level
20 yrs 58.4 53.3 46.3 41.7 37.9 23.3
40 yrs 39.5 34.8 28.6 24.7 21.6 11.1
60 yrs 22.2 18.3 13.5 10.8 8.8 3.1



Cause of death:
In years past, the leading cause of death among persons with SCI was renal failure. Today, however, significant advances in urologic management have resulted in dramatic shifts in the leading causes of death. Persons enrolled in the National SCI Database since its inception in 1973 have now been followed for 33 years after injury. During that time, the causes of death that appear to have the greatest impact on reduced life expectancy for this population are pneumonia, pulmonary emboli and septicemia.
This Fact Sheet is published by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC)
"Courage is the art of being the only one who knows that you are actually scared to death"Chrissy
T-6 incomplete para

#3 bigwheelzrme

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 01:51 AM

I think that's a good question. I really don't believe it is morbid. I do hope it gets some replies with info about this because I often wonder myself. I'm sure there are many contributing factors in life expectancy such as quality of care, underlying health issues etc.
Besides that's what this forum is for and I feel sure somebody here will know some answers or where to find some answers.
Thanks,
Mickey

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#4 bigwheelzrme

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 01:57 AM

I think that's a good question. I really don't believe it is morbid. I do hope it gets some replies with info about this because I often wonder myself. I'm sure there are many contributing factors in life expectancy such as quality of care, underlying health issues etc.
Besides that's what this forum is for and I feel sure somebody here will know some answers or where to find some answers.


while that was quick. I guess while I was time to reply to initial post that survivor 35 was putting up some information. So therefore my last sentence of the first post was correct somebody knew something or would know where to find it. That's why I like this forum
Thank survivor 35
Thanks,
Mickey

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Max Eastman

#5 Survivor35

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 12:25 PM

Sorry the charts didn't copy and post clearly diagrammed out, but if you read the description, you can figure out what they are trying to say... sorry bout that. But it still helps with the gen idea.
"Courage is the art of being the only one who knows that you are actually scared to death"Chrissy
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#6 gsp23

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 02:25 AM

Hmm... I was sitting in church this past weekend at my nieces 1st Communion and as I looked around I suddnely started to wonder why you see young people in wheelchairs but you rarely see older people (60+) in wheelchairs, short of the occasional older person in a scooter that based on their walking short distances without assistance is often assumed to be age related not due to anything else. I was thinking neuro conditions often people dont make it that old because of the progression but was wondering about SCI, now I guess that answers the second part of that question.
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#7 spinesong

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 08:38 AM

question about the charted info provided above. it says "life expectancy" then lists the age at time of injury. but the numbers after the ages must be the number of YEARS expected to live, right?
i'm just surprised that there is an expectancy in the 80's...that seems kind of high, even for a healthy, non-injured person. people need to keep in mind that life expectancy varies from country to country. just look at the wikipedia life expectancy. and the CDC only lists the average expectancy for those in the US at 77.9 yrs.

maybe i'm reading the chart info wrong?

#8 Apparelyzed

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 09:23 AM

Here are the charts again.

There are also some articles on Spinal Cord Injury Life Expectancy here.

Regards

Simon.

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#9 Survivor35

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 01:14 PM

Thanks Simon.... maybe that'll help.... I tried, I'm just not very well with tech.... Its sad, really. LOL
"Courage is the art of being the only one who knows that you are actually scared to death"Chrissy
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#10 moonstar

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Posted 06 May 2007 - 06:39 PM

HI,
IN MY EXPERIENCE I FOUND SOME INFO ABOUT LIFE EXPECTANCY BUT NOT SO MUCH ABOUT WHAT SORT OF THINGS CAN LEAD TO DEATH IF NOT MONITORED, MY HUSBAND WAS FAILED AT EVERY TURN BY PEOPLE THAT WHERE SUPPOSED TO BE LOOKING AFTER HIM, WE WHERE WARNED A LOT ABOUT AUTONOMIC DYSREFLEXIA BUT NOT MUCH ELSE, I KNOW EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT SO I AM ONLY SPEAKING FROM MY EXPERIENCE.
MY HUSBAND WAS VENTED FOR THREE MONTHS WHICH CAUSED A LUNG COLLAPSE WHICH CAUSED ON GOING CHEST PROBLEMS,
HE ALSO TOOK A LOT OF MEDICATION WHICH CAUSED HIM STOMACH PROBLEMS,
BECAUSE OF WEIGHT LOSS HE HAD SKIN PROBLEMS, WHICH CAN CONTRIBUTE TO DEATH BUT NOT IN HIS CASE,
I ALSO THINK HOW A PERSONS MENTAL HEALTH CAN PLAY A BIG PART, IF SOMEONE IS DEPRESSED THERE BODY IS LESS IMMUNE,
READING THIS BACK IT DOESNT MAKE MUCH SENSE, SORRY, I HOPE IT HELPS A BIT THOUGH
xmoonstarx

#11 cripple10

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 03:13 AM

Ive been in my chair jsut over 8 years now and still feel ok. I get sick less often than i used to when i was a newbie. To be honest im not planning on living till im 70+. the thought of being in a wheelcahir when im an old man doesnt really appeal to me... BTW im 24. had my accidnet when i was 16. have lost a lot of weight off my butt and have had dodgy kidneys but things seem to be ok at the mo (touch wood)... just hoping i dont get a presure area, they seem to be the things that really get ya!!
If its got tits or tyres, its gonna cost ya!!!

#12 Joed

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Posted 07 May 2007 - 05:00 PM

My neuro-deficits are from birth, but I thought I'd relate what I've learned anyway...

My parents had great difficulty getting life insurance for me, due to the expectation of an early death among those with spina-bifida. While my condition was considered mild and the doctors felt that my life expectancy would be similar to the AB, the insurance companies did not make those distinctions. But I was born in a time when most children born with SB did not survive to see their first birthday. Medical advances since then have most likely changed the outlook for life expectancy among those with SB.

I've been told that most of the early deaths are attributed to the complications from severe scoliosis, which often is present with SB. Progressive curvature can constrict the heart, lungs and various other organs. Sometimes ribs must be removed to alleviate the pressure on those organs. I know that scoliosis is a risk with anyone in w/c's, but to what extent the curvatures can progress, I don't know.

Over the years, many different doctors have stressed the importance of maintaining urinary health, and avoiding future renal dialysis....so that's probably a primary risk for early death among those with SB too.
* * * * * * * * *

Female. Incomplete para following a cord stroke in '03. Spina-bifida, severe scoliosis. 18 surgeries total...five spine-related: Three fusions w/hardware, two tethered cord releases.

#13 jakhep

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 05:11 PM

My neuro-deficits are from birth, but I thought I'd relate what I've learned anyway...

My parents had great difficulty getting life insurance for me, due to the expectation of an early death among those with spina-bifida. While my condition was considered mild and the doctors felt that my life expectancy would be similar to the AB, the insurance companies did not make those distinctions. But I was born in a time when most children born with SB did not survive to see their first birthday. Medical advances since then have most likely changed the outlook for life expectancy among those with SB.

I've been told that most of the early deaths are attributed to the complications from severe scoliosis, which often is present with SB. Progressive curvature can constrict the heart, lungs and various other organs. Sometimes ribs must be removed to alleviate the pressure on those organs. I know that scoliosis is a risk with anyone in w/c's, but to what extent the curvatures can progress, I don't know.

Over the years, many different doctors have stressed the importance of maintaining urinary health, and avoiding future renal dialysis....so that's probably a primary risk for early death among those with SB too.

I had my accident in 1966 so im into my 42nd year in a wheelchair and i have had no major problems and im in pretty good physical condition, i keep fit and dont ever drink to excess and have never smoked and so far my life has been good and i hope it goes on that way and hopefully death is still a long way off, i think its mostly down to common sense in how you approach life.

#14 The_BullDawg

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Posted 14 March 2009 - 01:45 AM

Hi Guys,

About 6 months ago I found this page and was in the same situation. I hired a guy from USAA as a one year deal as my financial planner. We covered all the bullet points. USAA and their insurance is usually the best price under the sun. Because military officers usually make good health and life decisions their members have better rates. We did a Will, retirement planning, living will, trust, collage savings and better organized our financial portfolios.

I'm a quadriplegic after falling down an elevator shaft but still have good hands. I'm in sales and mostly sell over the phone and make 3-4 international trips a year for business. Having a 2 year old, our collage plans for her, our house our retirement, etc etc. Our Financial planner came up with a pretty big number I needed to be insured. I asked if USAA has had much experience with life insurance of Quads. He being a loyal USAA guy assured me that the number of officers that have SCI they must have plenty of experience.

The forms were completed and the the nurse came to my house. 5 weeks later, I received an ugly rejection letter and the underwriter sounded pissed that I wanted to be insured for so much and the SCI conditions. The two main reasons were: 1) 9 years ago I had 7 pulmonary embolisms in one night. 2) I'm taking Oxybutin for a neurogenic bladder.

I caller the underwriter, I asked them if they read my medical records and did the see that I had a "Greenfield Filter" below my heart to filter and possible future embolisms. Everyone knows that the chance of having an embolism after the first 6 months drops off. I also informed her that my bladder was augmented to make it much larger in capacity and less neurogenic. I have had the VA do Urodynamics, Renal Scans and Kidney Ultrasound yearly. The underwriter was unimpressed and was holding some actuary tables from the 1970s or 1980s. She acted disgusted in me and acted like I was a con-artist trying to make a score.

I got her boss on the phone and tried to change the argument. I had all my notes laid out right in front of me. With advice from my wife's colleagues (all in the life and health insurance business) that I would lower their risk, these there the suggestions: 1) We start with a plan that would pay zero for the first 5 years. 2) We start with a plan of 1/10 my original asking amount because I did not want to be in the "Life insurance rejection database" 3) from 30 year to 20 year and three more suggestions. Again the same attitude that I was a common con-artist trying to rip-off USAA and was planning to die and needed a fat payout.

My wife works in the health insurance benefits I mentioned. There was some older guy that worked with a lady in another company that was able to get disabled people insured. We spoke on the phone and she asked me a few questions. She said she thought she could get me insured. She gave me 2 tables with monthly rates and the payoff. She was not sure which table the underwriter would approve but felt confident I would get approved.
SURE ENOUGH ABOUT 6-7 WEEKS AFTER THE NURSE CAME, I WAS APPROVED. We locked in my rate in 2008 because I was still 43. In 2009 I will be 44 and the table get worse. The table approved was actually one better that we were given. The insurance is A+ rated, My USAA guy was happy when he looked up the company and saw it was a solid company.

I was very thankful that this insurance agent was able to help. I do not think there are many with this specialty. I told her about this website and said I would like to tell this group about her but could she help people outside Georgia. She said most states have a reciprocal insurance license and she does it all the time. I hope the webmaster will allow this shameless plug. Here are her details:

JoAnn M Kink, CLTC
Long-Term Care Specialist, Life Sales Health and Medicare Supplements
875 Jep Wheeler Rd.
Woodstock, GA 30188
swfg2@yahoo.com
1-770 934 6150
1-678 468 6150

That is my story I hope it will help. Don't get too worked up about the "tables" but find a good insurance agent that specializes in helping our group. I hope JoAnn can help you too. The above was tahen directly from her business card. JoAnn approved of my idea to post this info and had no issues with me posting her business card here.

Cheers,

James Wilson
:P

#15 Santa Cruz Soul Surfer (LRO)

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 06:50 AM

Umm...ok! thanks for the info... :rolleyes: :dunno:

#16 Scribbler

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 09:51 AM

I was injured back on the 1950's when nursing SCI was in its infancy; C4/5. Its true back then most died from some sort of renal problem; infections or kidney stones. Others had bad sores, which were infected so without the modern antibiotics we have today they died of septicemia.

After rehab I was told my life expectancy was around 5 years, but I'm still going strong after 51 years. All the other guys that were on my Ward have died off from various things, renal problems, heart attacks, strokes and chest infections; I'm the last survivor.

I now find I'm suffering from the same things AB elderly people have. Cataracts, stiff and aching joints plus general wear and tear on my body. No one can beat the aging process but its exaggerated when you have SCI.

The mental affects of the slow decline in ones quality of life can be difficult to come to terms with. At first its quite a shock to find you can no longer do the things you once did, but I managed to overcome this by adapting my lifestyle.

Where once I could push myself almost anywhere, I now use an electric wheelchair. For years I used to drive my car, with simple adaptions; none of this Hi Tech stuff back then. Now I use an adapted vehicle with my PA's driving me while I'm sat in my wheelchair.

I'm still very lucky as I have great PA's who take good care of me plus I'm still very active and enjoy life.

jsp23. You mentioned you don't see anyone with SCI in there 60's in a wheelchair. Well this is me a month back; not far of 70, so you can sleep better tonight... :thread jacked:

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#17 nomis

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 11:32 AM

I think it is a significant accomplishment for any SCI person to reach 70, particularly if they still enjoy life. Actually, there's no point unless they enjoy life.

I got given an article the other day about people living longer by cheating death that strangely has me even happier heading towards my final years. I'm coming up to 61 and I've done all I need to do and life is now cruising downhill with a bit of mind masturbation pretending to understand my world. I'm still reasonably healthy but as soon as that goes I see no point in hanging around to watch myself rot. Sounds harsh but I don't feel that. It's realistic.

This article in the New Scientist unfortunately only has the intro online but it's worth reading that much and better if you can get the full article. Some main points incliude:

- Until about 200 yrs ago, the av human lifespan was abt 30yrs

- If current trends persist, the number of people in the UK over 65 will triple from 4.6mll to 15.5mll by 2074, and the pop over-100yrs will go from 10,000 to one million.

- In the US, 46% of people over 85 are thought to have Alzheimers. There are 5 million people with Alzheimers in the US today and 12.5mll predicted by 2050.

- 74% of Americans over 85 have a disability plus many are also forgetful, confused or depressed.

I'd sure like to see everyone get a fair go at life but it's insane to get caught up in this panic to keep living longer. The world can only feed so many and those living longer are taking the space and reseources that belong to the young. We weren't meant to live so long.

But it's been a pleasure and privilege for me to get this far. Cheers.

"We are all different - but we share the same human spirit. Perhaps it's human nature that we adapt - and survive." - Stephen Hawking 2013


#18 gsp23

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 03:28 PM

jsp23. You mentioned you don't see anyone with SCI in there 60's in a wheelchair. Well this is me a month back; not far of 70, so you can sleep better tonight... :)


ha... thanks for that!
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#19 popsune

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 03:37 PM

Thanks for sharing all the info in this thread!

#20 Bob C

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 08:59 PM

This is something I can comment on with authority. First, ! am 71 years old, and have been spinal cord injured for 55 of those (C5,6,7 quad). This is concrete evidence of potential. Second, I have expertise in the development of life care plans for spinal cord injuries and am familiar with much of the data regarding life expectancy. Most of the data out there is questionable because it was gathered in an earlier medical era, that is, at a time when spinal cord injury medicine was less developed. That is always a problem with published statistics. At this point however, it is reasonable conclude that with optimal care, individuals have good chance of at least approaching the normal life expectancy for their age group. Of course, any other co-existent medical problems must be factored in. As to the major causes of death, urinary tract problems are on top. Then the national statistics come in...heart disease, stroke, and cancer. I should point out that I am a testicular cancer survivor as of 2000. I will be glad to respond to specific questions.
Bob C

#21 popsune

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 10:47 PM

This is something I can comment on with authority. First, ! am 71 years old, and have been spinal cord injured for 55 of those (C5,6,7 quad). This is concrete evidence of potential. Second, I have expertise in the development of life care plans for spinal cord injuries and am familiar with much of the data regarding life expectancy. Most of the data out there is questionable because it was gathered in an earlier medical era, that is, at a time when spinal cord injury medicine was less developed. That is always a problem with published statistics. At this point however, it is reasonable conclude that with optimal care, individuals have good chance of at least approaching the normal life expectancy for their age group. Of course, any other co-existent medical problems must be factored in. As to the major causes of death, urinary tract problems are on top. Then the national statistics come in...heart disease, stroke, and cancer. I should point out that I am a testicular cancer survivor as of 2000. I will be glad to respond to specific questions.

Hi, how do you know if one has testicular cancer, at what age did you discovered that you had it? What are some of the symtpoms?

Was it discovered during a regular checkup?

Thanks.

#22 Scribbler

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 09:09 AM

This is something I can comment on with authority. First, ! am 71 years old, and have been spinal cord injured for 55 of those (C5,6,7 quad). This is concrete evidence of potential. Second, I have expertise in the development of life care plans for spinal cord injuries and am familiar with much of the data regarding life expectancy. Most of the data out there is questionable because it was gathered in an earlier medical era, that is, at a time when spinal cord injury medicine was less developed. That is always a problem with published statistics. At this point however, it is reasonable conclude that with optimal care, individuals have good chance of at least approaching the normal life expectancy for their age group. Of course, any other co-existent medical problems must be factored in. As to the major causes of death, urinary tract problems are on top. Then the national statistics come in...heart disease, stroke, and cancer. I should point out that I am a testicular cancer survivor as of 2000. I will be glad to respond to specific questions.

Hi, how do you know if one has testicular cancer, at what age did you discovered that you had it? What are some of the symtpoms?

Was it discovered during a regular checkup?

Thanks.


Bob C, You're now officially the king of the site, beating my 51 years as a C4/5. I also had testicular cancer way back in the 1980's so my left ball was removed. My only symptoms were swelling and lumps, so I had it removed and the right testical decommissioned; since then I've been fine.

I've never had any problems since and as far as my SCI, I feel quite fit. I'm just suffering the vagarious of old age, exactly as AB people do. As long as I don't start going senile I'll be happy, although some of you here will thing I'm way passed my sell by date... :yahoo:

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#23 greybeard

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Posted 21 March 2009 - 09:19 AM

As long as I don't start going senile I'll be happy, although some of you here will thing I'm way passed my sell by date... :D


Plenty of life left in you yet. :yikes: :yahoo: There must be to attract all those lovely PAs. :)

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This website is a way for those with spinal cord injuries and cauda equina syndrome to share experiences and advice. Any medical matters, treatments or alternative therapies discussed on this website should be thoroughly reviewed by a medical professional or therapist before being acted upon. Under no circumstances should you alter prescribed medication or a medical care plan without consulting your doctor or care plan supervisor first.