Multimorbidity in Middle-Aged Adults with Cerebral Palsy

Am J Med. 2017 Jun;130(6):744.e9-744.e15. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2016.11.044. Epub 2017 Jan 5.


Objective: Individuals with cerebral palsy have less lean body mass, greater relative adiposity, and lower fitness and physical activity participation, and yet the prevalence of age-related multimorbidity in this population has yet to be established. The study objective was to examine the prevalence of lifestyle-related chronic conditions and multimorbidity in a sample of middle-aged adults with cerebral palsy.

Methods: A clinic-based sample of middle-aged adults with cerebral palsy was examined using Electronic Medical Records Search Engine software. Our cohort included 435 individuals aged 40 to 60 years, with an International Classification of Diseases, Clinical Modification, 9th and 10th Revisions Diagnosis Code for cerebral palsy. Prevalence of 12 chronic conditions was evaluated, including existing diagnoses or historical record of osteopenia/osteoporosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, coronary artery disease, impaired glucose tolerance/type 2 diabetes, other cardiovascular conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, asthma, emphysema, prehypertension/hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. Multivariate logistic models were used to estimate multimorbidity (ie, ≥2 chronic conditions), adjusting for age, sex, smoking status, obesity, and Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS).

Results: There were 137 unique multimorbidity combinations. Multimorbidity was significantly more prevalent among obese versus nonobese individuals for both GMFCS I-III (75.8% vs 53.6%) and GMFCS IV-V (79.0% vs 64.2%), but was also significantly higher in nonobese individuals with GMFCS IV-V (64.2%) compared with nonobese individuals with GMFCS I-III (53.6%). Both the obesity status (odds ratio, 2.20; 95% confidence interval, 1.32-2.79) and the GMFCS IV-V category (odds ratio, 1.81; 95% confidence interval, 1.32-3.68) were independently associated with multimorbidity.

Conclusions: Middle-aged adults with cerebral palsy have high estimates of multimorbidity; both obesity and higher GMFCS levels are independently associated with greater risk.

Keywords: Cerebral palsy; Diabetes; Hypertension; Multimorbidity; Obesity; Osteoporosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma / epidemiology
  • Bone Diseases, Metabolic / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cerebral Palsy / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Osteoarthritis / epidemiology
  • Osteoporosis / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Factors