The award is recognizing Chen’s research paper, “Changing Demographics and Injury Profile of New Traumatic Spinal Cord Injuries in the United States, 1972-2014.”
“I am thrilled to know so many people have read and cited my work, in particular for this article that addressed the changing landscape of new spinal cord injuries over the last five decades,” said Chen, professor in the UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
In her research, Chen found that the age at injury increased from an average of 28.7 years in the 1970s to 42.2 during the early 2010s.
“We knew that motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause for spinal cord injuries overall, but we have seen the constant rise of fall-related spinal cord injuries over the last five decades,” Chen said.
The research reported that about 50 percent of spinal cord injuries among people age 46 years and older are caused by fall injuries.
“I hope this report will lead to future additions of geriatric expertise in the acute and rehabilitation care for spinal cord injuries, as well as provide sound justification for others’ research,” Chen said.
Chen was recognized for her award during the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine annual conference last September.