Prevalence of cerebral palsy, co-occurring autism spectrum disorders, and motor functioning – Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, USA, 2008

Authors

  • Deborah Christensen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA
    • Correspondence to Dr Deborah Christensen, Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE, MS E-86, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA. E-mail: dqc3@cdc.gov

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  • Kim Van Naarden Braun,

    1. Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA
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  • Nancy S Doernberg,

    1. Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA
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  • Matthew J Maenner,

    1. Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI, USA
    2. Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI, USA
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  • Carrie L Arneson,

    1. Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI, USA
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  • Maureen S Durkin,

    1. Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI, USA
    2. Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI, USA
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  • Ruth E Benedict,

    1. Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI, USA
    2. Occupational Therapy Program, Department of Kinesiology, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, WI, USA
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  • Russell S Kirby,

    1. Department of Community and Family Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA
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  • Martha S Wingate,

    1. Department of Health Care Organization and Policy, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA
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  • Robert Fitzgerald,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, USA
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  • Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp

    1. Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA
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Abstract

Aim

The aim of this study was to report the prevalence and characteristics of children with cerebral palsy (CP).

Method

Children with CP (n=451) were ascertained by the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, a population-based, record-review surveillance system monitoring CP in four areas of the USA. Prevalence was calculated as the number of children with CP among all 8-year-old children residing in these areas in 2008. Motor function was categorized by Gross Motor Function Classification System level and walking ability. Co-occurring autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and epilepsy were ascertained using ADDM Network surveillance methodology.

Results

The period prevalence of CP for 2008 was 3.1 per 1000 8-year-old children (95% confidence interval 2.8–3.4). Approximately 58% of children walked independently. Co-occurring ASD frequency was 6.9% and was higher (18.4%) among children with non-spastic CP, particularly hypotonic CP. Co-occurring epilepsy frequency was 41% overall, did not differ by ASD status or CP subtype, and was highest (67%) among children with limited or no walking ability.

Interpretation

The prevalence of CP in childhood from US surveillance data has remained relatively constant, in the range of 3.1 to 3.6 per 1000, since 1996. The higher frequency of ASD in non-spastic than in spastic subtypes of CP calls for closer examination.

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