Prevalence of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease risk factors in adults with cerebral palsy

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2019 Apr;61(4):477-483. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.14148. Epub 2019 Jan 20.


Aim: To investigate the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors and the association between common metabolic markers and Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) levels in ambulatory adults with cerebral palsy (CP).

Method: Metabolic markers and GMFCS levels were evaluated in a cross-sectional study of 70 ambulatory adults with CP (34 males, 36 females; mean age 24y 5mo [SD 5y 4mo], range 18y 6mo-48y 8mo) to determine the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and CVD risk factors, and were compared to age-matched, population norms from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) registry. The Framingham Heart Study (FHS) CVD risk estimation was also used to evaluate an individual's risk for CVD.

Results: Metabolic syndrome was identified in 17.1% of the cohort, higher than the 10% in the NHANES registry. The FHS CVD 30-year lipid and body mass index (BMI)-based risk factor results showed that 20% to 40% of the cohort was at greater risk of developing CVD (BMI-based: 39.7% 'full' CVD risk factor; lipid-based: 26.5% 'full' CVD risk factor) as compared to the FHS normative population data. There was a positive correlation between GMFCS level, waist circumference (r=0.28, p=0.02), and waist-to-hip ratio (r=0.28, p=0.02).

Interpretation: Adults with CP are at higher risk of CVD and metabolic syndrome compared to the general population, which is probably because of impaired mobility.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cerebral Palsy / complications*
  • Cerebral Palsy / metabolism
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Waist Circumference
  • Waist-Hip Ratio
  • Young Adult