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Briefs: Paralysis is surprisingly common

paralysis is surprisingly common

Roughly one in 50 Americans has some degree of paralysis, and five times more people than doctors thought are living with a spinal cord injury — nearly 1.3 million — says a startling study released this week. It's a largely hidden population that neither the government nor medical organizations have attempted to fully count, and the findings promise to help health authorities understand the scope of need. "Paralysis is not rare," said Dr. Edwin Trevathan, disabilities chief at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which helped design the study. "These data demand that we recommit . . . to help this population." Almost 5.6 million people have some degree of paralysis. Stroke and spinal cord injury are the leading causes, but they also include multiple sclerosis, brain injuries, birth defects, surgical complications and a list of other ailments. That's about 30 percent higher than previous estimates.

Associated Press

On the calendar

The Reproductive Medicine Group invites women and their partners to learn more about stress and infertility and the latest in-vitro fertilization advances from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the New Beginnings Fertility Conference, at the Sheraton Suites hotel, 4400 W Cypress St., Tampa. Free. For reservations, call Pat Hincher at (813) 676-8861 or e-mail

Note to readers

Have you used a Web site that rates doctors and other health professionals? The sites go by such names as and, or are included in more general rating sites such as Angie's List. If you've used a Web site to help choose a doctor, or if you've ever posted comments online about a recent doctor visit, we want to hear from you.

We're also interested if a doctor you've visited recently has asked you to sign an agreement forbidding you from posting comments about him or her online.

Contact health reporter Richard Martin at (727) 893-8330 or

Briefs: Paralysis is surprisingly common 04/22/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 22, 2009 6:27pm]
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