The Dietary Intakes of Calcium and Bone Health Related Nutrients Among Individuals with and without Spinal Cord Injury


  • Masae Miyatani University Health Network
  • B. Cathy Craven University of Toronto
  • Eva Loewenberger Region of Peel Public Health
  • Colleen F. McGillivray University Health Network
  • Jonathan D. Adachi McMaster University



Calcium, 24 hour recall, spinal cord injury, dietary assessment, osteoporosis


Objectives: The purposes of this observational study were to: 1) describe and compare the intakes of nutrients related to bone health among a group of individuals with traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) versus a group of age, gender and weight matched non-SCI peers; and 2) contrast the participant's nutrient intakes against current dietary reference intakes (DRIs).

Methods: Consenting participants included: 87 individuals with SCI (C2-T10 AIS A-D) aged 18-68 years and 85 non-SCI individuals. Participants' nutrient intakes were determined using a 24-hour dietary recall. Participants were grouped by gender, age (19-30yrs, 31-50yrs, 51-68yrs), and impairment (SCI and non-SCI). Additionally, the nutrient intakes were contrasted with the DRIsparameters.

Results: The range for mean calcium intakes across all age strata was 870-1087mg/day for SCI men and 848-1087mg/day for SCI women. The range for mean calcium intakes of the non-SCI participants were similar (men: 900-909mg/day; women: 796-1160mg/day). The majority of SCI and non-SCI men (64 - 86% of participants) in all age groups and SCI and non-SCI women in the 52-68 yrs group (72 and 73% of participants) did not meet the DRIs recommendation for calcium.. Additionally many participants did not meet the DRIs recommendation for magnesium (38-55%) and potassium (71-95%) regardless of gender and impairment. The majority (60-70%) of participants consumed excessive amounts of sodium with the exception of non-SCI women.

Conclusions: Dietary calcium intakes among SCI and non-SCI participants were not significantly different from each other. However, the dietary calcium intakes of both impairment groups were less than the recommended DRIs; SCI men and women are a target for nutritional interventions based on their calcium, magnesium potassium and sodium intakes.

Author Biographies

Masae Miyatani, University Health Network

Toronto Rehabilitation Institute

B. Cathy Craven, University of Toronto

Department of Medicine, Division of Physiatry

Colleen F. McGillivray, University Health Network

Toronto Rehabilitation Institute

Jonathan D. Adachi, McMaster University

Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology


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