According to the World Health Organization, the estimated global SCI incidence is 40 to 80 new cases per million population per year, based on quality country-level incidence studies of SCI from all causes. This means that every year, between 250,000 and 500,000 people become spinal cord injured worldwide.
Given the current U.S. population size of 328 million people, a recent estimate showed that the annual incidence of SCI is approximately 54 cases per one million people in the United States, or about 17,730 new SCI cases each year. New SCI cases do not include those who die at the location of the incident that caused the SCI.
The estimated number of people with SCI living in the United States is approximately 291,000, with a range from 249,000 to 363,000 persons. It is estimated that in Europe there are up to 500,000 people living with SCI with at least 27,000 new SCI cases each year.
Since 2015, about 30% of persons with SCI are re-hospitalized one or more times during any given year following injury. Among those re-hospitalized, the length of hospital stay averages about 19 days. Diseases of the genitourinary system are the leading cause of re-hospitalization, followed by disease of the skin.
Respiratory, digestive, circulatory, and musculoskeletal diseases are also common causes.
The average annual expenses (health care costs and living expenses) and the estimated lifetime costs that are directly attributable to SCI vary greatly based on education, neurological impairment, and pre-injury employment history.
The estimates below do not include any indirect costs such as losses in wages, fringe benefits, and productivity (indirect costs averaged $76,327 per year in 2018 dollars).