OBJECTIVES To estimate excess mortality and life years lost in a Swiss cohort of individuals with traumatic spinal cord injury (TSCI).
METHODS This study uses population-based data collected in the Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Cohort (SwiSCI) study, which covers all specialized rehabilitation centres. Flexible parametric survival models were used to model life years remaining (LYR), potential years life lost (PYLL), relative survival and excess hazard ratios.
RESULTS Men and women with TSCI and an attained age of 30 were estimated to have 42 LYR (95% CI = 37.9-45.5) and 43 LYR (95% CI = 40.1-45.5), respectively; this equates to a life expectancy (LE) of 80.6 and 76.9% of that of the Swiss general population. With respect to lesion level and completeness, persons with incomplete paraplegia had 45.1 LYR at an attained age of 30, whereas individuals with complete tetraplegia only had 28.7 LYR. This pattern was similar for PYLL.
CONCLUSIONS The extended LE following TSCI, even for the most severe lesions, underscores the need for sustained follow-up to support functioning and health for individuals ageing with SCI.