JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Epidemiology of Traumatic and Non-Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury in Korea: A Narrative Review.

This review describes the incidence rates and trends of traumatic spinal cord injuries (TSCI) and non-traumatic spinal cord injuries (NTSCI) in South Korea. The incidence of NTSCI has increased more rapidly than that of TSCI in recent years. In 2007, TSCI was more common, but by 2020, NTSCI had surpassed TSCI, particularly in older individuals. While men have a higher incidence of both TSCI and NTSCI, the incidence difference by sex is greater in TSCI. The incidence rates of both TSCI and NTSCI are higher in older individuals, particularly those in their 70s and 80s. For TSCI, falls and traffic accidents are the most common causes, with falls being more prevalent in older adults. Cervical SCIs are the most common TSCI, especially in high-income countries like South Korea. Patients with NTSCI predominantly display paraplegia, which is usually associated with non-traumatic causes such as degenerative disorders and tumors. Higher rates of tetraplegia and paraplegia are observed with TSCI and NTSCI, respectively. The neurological levels of injury also differ between TSCI and NTSCI. Overall, SCIs are a growing concern in South Korea and there is a need for targeted interventions for their management and prevention, especially in older age groups.

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