Journal:Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine - JSCM (formerly Journal of the American Paraplegia Society)
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):17, 40, 2, 130-137
Study examined the patterns of weight change after spinal cord injury (SCI) and identified associated risk factors using data obtained from 16 SCI Model Systems (SCIMS). Participants were 1,094 individuals with an SCI who were entered into the SCIMS and had a 1-year follow-up between October 2006 and November 2012. The primary outcome measure was change in body mass index (BMI) during the first year of injury. Height and weight were assessed during inpatient rehabilitation and 1 year after injury. The results showed mean BMI decreased from 26.3 to 25.8 kilograms per meter squared (kg/m²) during the first year after SCI. Weight loss was mainly observed among 576 individuals classified as overweight or obese during rehabilitation with a BMI decrease of 1.4 kg/m², which varied significantly by sex, education, neurological level, and the presence of vertebral injury. Weight gain was noted among 518 individuals classified as underweight or normal weight during rehabilitation with a BMI increase of 0.5 kg/m², with the greatest increase among individuals of Hispanic origin (1.2 kg/m²), other marital status (1.2 kg/m²), age group 31 to 45 years (1.1 kg/m²), with less than high school education (1.1 kg/m²), without spinal surgery (0.9 kg/m²), and with motor functionally incomplete injury (0.8 kg/m²). These findings suggest that strategies for weight management should be addressed after a SCI to ameliorate the potential for unhealthy weight change, particularly among at-risk groups.