Volume 2 Supplement 1
An independent 40 year review of mortality in open spina bifida
© The Author(s) 2005
Published: 30 December 2005
The mortality in young children with spina bifida has fallen since 1963 when the Cambridge study began. Studies in older children and adults show a considerable loss at follow-up, and incomplete data on causes of death
Materials and methods
The Cambridge Cohort consists of 116 cases born between 1963 and 1971. The causes of death up to 2005 are recorded. Information came from hospital records and the Office of National Statistics. Further information was obtained from autopsy reports and from doctors and carers
67 (57%) of the patients have died. Most deaths in the first 20 years were caused by hydrocephalus and CSF infections. In the second 20 years deaths were more commonly cardio-respiratory and renal. Mortality was greater where the sensory level of the lesion was higher.
The overall death rate compared with other centres. Patients with a high sensory level have twice the mortality of those with a low sensory level.
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