60 Scopus citations


Study design: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Objectives: The objective was to investigate nutritional status in chronic spinal cord injury (SCI), and compare macronutrient and micronutrient intake to the recommended values by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Setting: United States of America. Methods: A MEDLINE/PubMed, Google Scholar, Scopus, and Web of Science search was performed, identifying 268 papers. All papers included were English-language papers examining adults with chronic SCI. A meta-analysis was performed to produce weighted averages and 95% confidence intervals (CI) when summary statistics were provided. Results: The systematic review included 15 articles, while the meta-analysis included 12. Resting metabolic rate (1492 kcal/day; CI: 1414–1569) fell below the able-bodied average, and total energy (1876 kcal/day; CI: 1694–2059) and fiber (17 g/day; CI: 14–20) intake were below USDA guidelines. Protein (319 kcal/day; CI: 294–345) and carbohydrate (969 kcal/day; CI: 851–1087) intake were above guidelines. Fat intake (663 kcal/day; CI: 590–736) was within USDA guidelines. Vitamins A, B5, B7, B9, D, E, potassium, and calcium were deficient, while vitamins B1, B2, B3, B12, C, K, sodium, phosphorus, copper, and zinc were in excess according to USDA guidelines. Vitamin B6, iron, and magnesium were within USDA guidelines. Conclusion: Findings indicate greater energy intake relative to energy needs in those with chronic SCI, and an imbalance in fiber intake and micronutrients compared to the USDA guidelines. Future research examining nutritional health status is needed in order to establish evidence-based, SCI-specific dietary guidelines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-17
Number of pages15
JournalSpinal Cord
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Rehabilitation


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