Cardiovascular disease risk in adults with spastic bilateral cerebral palsy

J Rehabil Med. 2013 Sep;45(9):866-72. doi: 10.2340/16501977-1185.


Objective: To explore: (i) cardiovascular disease risk factors and the 10-year clustered risk of a fatal cardiovascular event in adults with spastic bilateral cerebral palsy; and (ii) relationships between the 10-year risk and body fat, aerobic fitness and physical activity.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Subjects: Forty-three adults with spastic bilateral cerebral palsy without severe cognitive impairment (mean age 36.6 years (standard deviation 6); 27 men).

Methods: Biological and lifestyle-related risk factors and the 10-year risk according to the Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE) were assessed. Relationships were studied using multivariable linear regression analysis.

Results: The following single risk factors were present: hypertension (n = 12), elevated total cholesterol (n = 3), low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (n = 5; all men), high-risk waist circumference (n = 11), obesity (body mass index; n = 5; all men), reduced aerobic fitness (on average 80% of reference values), reduced level of everyday physical activity (on average 78% of reference values) and smoking (n=9). All participants had a 10-year risk <1%. Corrected for gender, participants with higher waist circumference (β = 0.28; p = 0.06) or body mass index (β=0.25; p = 0.08) tended to have a higher 10-year risk.

Conclusion: In this relatively young adult sample of people with spastic bilateral cerebral palsy several single cardiovascular disease risk factors were present. The 10-year fatal cardiovascular disease risk was low, and higher body fat tended to be related to higher 10-year risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Composition
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality*
  • Cerebral Palsy / complications
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dyslipidemias
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Muscle Spasticity / etiology
  • Obesity
  • Physical Fitness
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking
  • Waist Circumference