The Longevity After Injury Project at the Medical University of South Carolina conducts research on the life and well-being of people with spinal cord injury. Their research focuses on issues including secondary conditions, like pressure sores and urinary tract infections, and disability employment.
Much of the research conducted through the Longevity After Injury Project is collected through longitudinal studies, meaning that the same cohort of patients are surveyed every few years. This method of scientific research provides the opportunity to track how someone progresses through life after becoming injured.
Depending on the age at which someone becomes paralyzed, he or she can live 30+, 40+ or 50+ years with the disability. The research outcomes can help determine what is beneficial, and what is detrimental, to having longevity.
I recently interviewed one of their researchers, Dr. Lee Saunders, about a study related to smoking within the spinal cord injury population of South Carolina. The findings showed that the percentage of smokers is higher in the state compared to the national average. The next steps are to conduct focus groups and find better ways to access healthcare and smoking cessation programs.
To see my video interview, go to http://vimeopro.com/muscchp/longevity-after-injury/video/122116709