Healthy Lifestyles May be Linked with Longer Life Expectancy for People with Spinal Cord Injuries

Researchers from a project Risk of Early Mortality After Spinal Cord Injury looked at 2,979 adults with SCI who were treated at a large city hospital. All of these individuals had SCI for at least a year before filling out a self-report assessment about their health and lifestyles. The individuals answered questions about their injury severity; current age and age at injury; race/ethnicity; gender; and whether they were underweight, about normal weight, or overweight for their height. The individuals also answered questions about six types of lifestyle factors: whether they took prescription medications for spasms, pain, depression, or sleep; how often they drank alcohol; whether or not they smoked; how often they ate fruits and vegetables; how often they ate unhealthy or “junk” foods; and how much they exercised. One group of the individuals completed the survey between 1997 and 1998, while a second group completed the survey between 2007 and 2009.