Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating disorder. Alcohol abuse has been recognized as hindering SCI patients from rehabilitation, thus leading to longer length of days and poorer prognosis. This article aimed to investigate the association between spinal cord injury (SCI) and alcohol dependence. Data were derived from the National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD). The incidence of alcohol dependence between SCI and non-SCI groups was compared. Other possible risk factors were also analyzed. Patients (N = 5670) with SCI from 2000 to 2009 were initially assessed for eligibility. After propensity score matching, 5639 first-time SCI survivors were included. The Cox proportional hazard regression model was used to assess differences in the incidence of alcohol dependence syndrome. Based on the adjusted hazard ratios (HR), the SCI group had a higher hazard for alcohol dependence syndrome compared to the non-SCI group (adjusted HR: 1.39, 95% CI: 1.03~1.86, p = 0.0305). The injury level did not have an impact on the incidence of alcohol dependence syndrome. A higher incidence of alcohol dependence syndrome was related to male patients, lower insurance levels, higher Deyo’s CCI, and psychiatric OPD times. A lower incidence of alcohol dependence syndrome was related to elder age. The incidence of alcohol dependence increased after the occurrence of SCI and was also related to age, sex, monthly income, comorbidities, and psychiatric problems. The injury level did not affect the incidence of alcohol dependence after SCI.
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