Cardiovascular disease risk and the need for prevention after paraplegia determined by conventional multifactorial risk models: the Stockholm spinal cord injury study

J Rehabil Med. 2011 Feb;43(3):237-42. doi: 10.2340/16501977-0658.


Objective: To assess the need for intervention on cardio-vascular disease risks in persons with paraplegia according to: (i) two multifactorial risk models; and (ii) these models in combination with the additional risk of overweight/obesity.

Design: Cross-sectional.

Subjects: A total of 134 out of 153 persons, comprising more than 80% of a regional prevalence population with traumatic paraplegia (American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale A-C) of minimum one year duration.

Methods: Participants were screened for cardiovascular disease risk using two multifactorial risk models: the Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation and the Framingham Risk Equation. Risk factors included were: age, gender, systolic blood pressure, antihypertensive medication, smoking, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and total cholesterol/total cholesterol ratio. In addition, overweight/obesity was assessed by body mass index.

Results: Twenty-seven percent to 36% of the cohort was eligible for cardiovascular disease risk intervention, depending on the risk model used. When overweight/obesity (spinal cord injury adjusted cut-score body mass index ≥ 22) was also considered, over 80% of the participants qualified for intervention.

Conclusion: Almost one-third of persons with paraplegia were eligible for cardiovascular disease risk intervention according to authoritative assessment tools. The number in need of intervention was dramatically increased when overweight/obesity as a cardiovascular disease risk was considered.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / genetics
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Overweight / complications
  • Overweight / etiology
  • Paraplegia / complications*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / complications*
  • Young Adult