According to a study initiated by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, there are nearly 1 in 50 people living with paralysis — approximately 6 million people. That’s the same number of people as the combined populations of Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. And that number is nearly 33% higher than previous estimates showed.
It means that we all know someone — a brother, sister, friend, neighbor, or colleague — living with paralysis.
Prevalence and Demographics
The Reeve Foundation’s One Degree of Separation: Paralysis and Spinal Cord Injury in the United States shows over a million more people in the U.S are living with paralysis than previously estimated, and five times more people living with spinal cord injury.
Below are the prevalence and demographics of paralysis and spinal cord injury according to that survey:
Public Policy Recommendations
5 Concrete and Actionable Steps
- Implement the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act (CDRPA).
- Improve the quality of life for people with disabilities by reforming health care.
- Provide better educational opportunities to Americans with disabilities.
- Increase employment among people with disabilities and institute protections for them from workplace discrimination.
- Support independent, community-based living for Americans with disabilities. Read more.
Costs of Living with Spinal Cord Injury
- Average yearly expenses can range from $228,566 to $775,567 in the first year.
- Estimated lifetime costs due to spinal cord injury can range from $681,843 to over $3 million for a 25 year old.
- 87.9% of all spinal cord injured individuals are discharged from hospitals to private homes. Read more.
The information provided in the Paralysis Resource Center was supported by Cooperative Agreement number 1U59DD000838-01 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the Reeve Foundation and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC. All this information is from the The Reeve Foundation’s website.