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Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Children with Spinal Cord Injury
The goal of this study is to assess the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in children with spinal cord injury.
There is a large body of evidence in adults that suggests that apparently healthy people with chronic spinal cord injury are at risk for cardiovascular disease and qualify for lipid-lowering therapeutic lifestyle interventions (Nash et al., 2007; Liang et al., 2007). According to the third report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) expert panel on detection, evaluation and treatment of high blood cholesterol in adults there is an increased urgency for early risk assessment and intervention in this population (ATP III report, 2002). The similar issue in able-bodied children and adolescents is not yet settled but there is great evidence that children with familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) should be treated "the earlier the better" (Rodenburg et al., 2007).
Extrapolating from the data in adults we suspect that children with spinal cord injury have evidence of dyslipidemia and therefore would benefit from lipid lowering therapeutic lifestyle interventions to lower their cardiovascular risk. There is some evidence in adolescents of decreased serum HDL concentrations following spinal cord injury (Nelson et al., 2007). However, to our best knowledge there is currently no data on dyslipidemia in children with spinal cord injury available in the medical literature. Our center, The International Center for Spinal Cord Injury, has been seeing a large number of children and adolescents with spinal cord dysfunction over the past three years. We intend to review the medical records of our patients and collect de-identified information including laboratory data of lipid metabolism (glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein, high-density lipoprotein), blood pressure, height, and weight. We will also record age, gender, ethnicity, the underlying disease process, as well as the severity of spinal cord injury based on the ASIA classification. We plan on including children and adolescents from age 1 month to 17 years that have been seen at our center.
This information will be collected in a de-identified manner in a Microsoft Access® database and if scientifically indicated, prepared for publication in a medical journal.