Nutritional health considerations for persons with spinal cord injury

Gregory Bigford, Mark S. Nash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) often results in morbidity and mortality due to all-cause cardiovascular disease (CVD) and comorbid endocrine disorders. Several component risk factors for CVD, described as the cardiometabolic syndrome (CMS), are prevalent in SCI, with the individual risks of obesity and insulin resistance known to advance the disease prognosis to a greater extent than other established risks. Notably, adiposity and insulin resistance are attributed in large part to a commonly observed maladaptive dietary/nutritional profile. Although there are no evidence-based nutritional guidelines to address the CMS risk in SCI, contemporary treatment strategies advocate more comprehensive lifestyle management that includes sustained nutritional guidance as a necessary component for overall health management. This monograph describes factors in SCI that contribute to CMS risks, the current nutritional profile and its contribution to CMS risks, and effective treatment strategies including the adaptability of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) to SCI. Establishing appropriate nutritional guidelines and recommendations will play an important role in addressing the CMS risks in SCI and preserving optimal long-Term health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-206
Number of pages19
JournalTopics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Cardiometabolic Syndrome
  • Nutrition
  • Obesity
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Treatment Strategies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology


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