Tuesday, April 21, 2009

More Paralyzed in US than Previously Thought

About 5.6 million Americans have some degree of paralysis — far more than previously thought, according to the findings of a telephone survey released today by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.

The 2008 survey of more than 33,000 U.S. households defined paralysis as "a central nervous system disorder resulting in difficulty or inability to move" arms or legs. Mobility problems from muscular dystrophy, obesity, arthritis or diabetes, which aren't central nervous system disorders, weren't counted.

Previously, the highest estimate of paralyzed Americans was 4 million, says Joe Canose, vice president for quality of life at the foundation.