Age trajectories of musculoskeletal morbidities in adults with cerebral palsy

Bone. 2018 Sep:114:285-291. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2018.07.002. Epub 2018 Jul 5.


Background: Individuals with cerebral palsy (CP) are at an increased risk for age-related morbidities due to functional impairments, maladapted growth, and altered body composition. While musculoskeletal (MSK) deficits are present in children, little is understood about MSK morbidity throughout the lifespan in those with CP. The purpose of this study was to examine the age-related trajectories of MSK morbidity and multimorbidity throughout adulthood in those with CP.

Methods: A clinic-based sample of adults with CP (n = 1395; ≥18 years) was examined to determine prevalence of MSK morbidities at the University of Michigan Medical Center. Logistic regression was used to determine the effects of age on individual MSK morbidities and multimorbidity (i.e., ≥2 morbidities) after adjusting for sex, race, weight, and smoking.

Results: With the 18-30 year age group as the reference, the adjusted odds of osteopenia was lower in the 41-50 and >50 year age groups, the odds of osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis was higher in 41-50 and >50 year age groups, and the odds of osteoarthritis was higher in 31-40, 41-50, and >50 year age groups. The adjusted odds of MSK multimorbidity increased substantially with increasing age for 31-40 year olds (OR: 1.919; 95% CI 1.05-3.52), 41-50 year olds (OR: 4.30; 95% CI 2.40-7.69), and >50 year olds (OR: 6.05; 95% CI 3.56-10.27).

Conclusions: Adults with CP are at high risk for MSK morbidities across all ages. Future studies are needed to examine the global aging trajectories of MSK health among adults with CP. Study findings highlight the importance of maximizing MSK accretion, and developing programs to assist individuals with CP and their caregivers to maintain MSK mass and function throughout the lifespan.

Keywords: Arthritis; Cerebral palsy; Osteoporosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Cerebral Palsy / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cerebral Palsy / epidemiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult