Direct Health Care Costs After Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury
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BACKGROUND: The objective was to quantify direct health care costs attributable to traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI). METHODS: This population-based cohort study followed individuals with SCI from date of injury to 6 years postinjury. SCI cases were matched to a comparison group randomly selected from the general population. Administrative data from a Canadian province with a universal publicly funded health care system and centralized health databases were used. Costs included hospitalizations, physician services, home care, and long-term care. RESULTS: Attributable costs in the first year were $121,600 (2002 $CDN) per person with a complete SCI, and $42,100 per person with an incomplete injury. In the subsequent 5 years, annual costs were $5,400 and $2,800 for persons with complete and incomplete SCIs, respectively. CONCLUSION: Direct costs in the first year after SCI are substantial. In the subsequent 5 years, individuals with SCI will continue to accrue greater costs than the general public.