FRIDAY, May 8, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Adults with traumatic spinal cord injuries (SCIs) have an increased incidence of psychological morbidities and multimorbidity, according to a study published in the May issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Mark D. Peterson, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues compared the longitudinal incidence of psychological morbidities and multimorbidity among adults with and those without SCIs. Data were included for privately insured beneficiaries with a diagnostic code for traumatic SCI (6,847 participants) and controls without SCIs (857,245 adults).

The researchers found that compared with adults without SCIs, those with SCIs had an increased incidence of adjustment reaction, anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, alcohol dependence, drug dependence, psychogenic pain, dementia, insomnia, and psychological multimorbidity. For each psychological outcome, the adjusted hazard ratios were higher for individuals with SCI, ranging from 1.18 to 3.32 for anxiety disorders and psychogenic pain, respectively. The prevalence of all chronic diseases and chronic disease multimorbidity was increased for adults with SCIs (51.1 versus 14.1 percent), except for HIV/AIDS. A significantly higher incidence of most psychological disorders and psychological multimorbidity was seen among adults with SCIs after propensity matching (5,884 pairs).

“These findings should be used to inform the development of appropriate clinical screening algorithms and design of early behavioral interventions to reduce the risk for disease onset/progression in this higher risk population,” the authors write.

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