Optimizing health care for adults with spina bifida

Dev Disabil Res Rev. 2010;16(1):76-81. doi: 10.1002/ddrr.99.


Survival into adulthood for individuals with spina bifida has significantly improved over the last 40 years with the majority of patients now living as adults. Despite this growing population of adult patients who have increased medical needs compared to the general population, including spina bifida (SB)-specific care, age-related secondary disabilities, and general adult medical needs, there is little published information about the natural history of SB in adulthood. There are few published studies of medical conditions, interventions, or long-term complications in this population. This article will provide a review of the medical issues of adults with SB, highlighting areas that are different than pediatric care, and areas of needed research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Health Services / standards
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / epidemiology
  • Hydrocephalus / surgery
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Osteoporosis / epidemiology
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Spinal Dysraphism / epidemiology
  • Spinal Dysraphism / physiopathology*
  • Spinal Dysraphism / therapy*
  • Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt