A South Australian study of pregnancy and birth risk factors associated with cerebral palsy

Int J Rehabil Res. 1989;12(2):159-66. doi: 10.1097/00004356-198906000-00004.


Using the Perinatal Statistics Collection compiled by the Pregnancy Outcome Unit of the South Australian Health Commission, a profile of statistically significant risk factors for cerebral palsy has been established for a South Australian population. Logistic regression analysis revealed that these factors included threatened miscarriage, ante-partum haemorrhage, maternal age of under 20 years, shortened gestational age, low birthweight, low Apgar score at 5 minutes, foetal distress, delay in establishing spontaneous regular respiration, presence of a congenital abnormality and prolonged hospital stay. In addition, pregnancy hypertension, reduced number of antenatal visits, breech presentation, resuscitation of the neonate by intubation and intermittent positive pressure ventilation, and the need for specialised nursery care were found to be significant in univariate analyses. These data point to the risk factors which may help identify infants who require closer monitoring for early signs of cerebral palsy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Australia
  • Cerebral Palsy / complications
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / etiology
  • Pregnancy Complications / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors