Long-term survival for a cohort of adults with cerebral palsy

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2006 Feb;48(2):90-5. doi: 10.1017/S0012162206000211.


The aim of this study was to investigate long-term survival and examine causes of death in adult patients with cerebral palsy (CP). A 1940-1950 birth cohort based on paediatric case referral allows for long-term survival follow-up. Survival is analyzed by birth characteristics and severity of disability from age 20 years (and age 2y for a subset of the data). Survival outcome compared with that expected in the general population based on English life tables. The main cohort consisted of 341 individuals, with 193 males and 148 females. Conditional on surviving to age 20 years, almost 85% of the cohort survived to age 50 years (a comparable estimate for the general population is 96%). Very few deaths were attributed to CP for those people dying over 20 years of age. Females survived better than males. However, females faced a greater increase in risk relative to the general population than did males. We conclude that survival outlook is good though lower than in the general population. The relative risk of death compared with the UK population decreases with age, although it shows some indication of rising again after age 50 years. Many more deaths were caused by diseases of the respiratory system among those dying in their 20s and 30s than would be expected in the general population. Many fewer deaths than expected in this age group are caused by injuries and accidents. For those people who die in their 40s and 50s, an increase in deaths due to diseases of the circulatory system and neoplasms is observed. More deaths than expected in this age group are due to diseases of the nervous system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cause of Death*
  • Cerebral Palsy / mortality*
  • Cerebral Palsy / pathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disabled Persons*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Life Expectancy
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Sex Factors
  • Survival Analysis