Prevalence of cerebral palsy among ten-year-old children in metropolitan Atlanta, 1985 through 1987

J Pediatr. 1993 Nov;123(5):S13-20. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(05)80892-3.


The Metropolitan Atlanta Developmental Disabilities Study was a population-based study (1985 through 1987) to determine the prevalence of five developmental disabilities among 10-year-old children. The disabilities included cerebral palsy, mental retardation, visual impairment, hearing impairment, and epilepsy. The prevalence of cerebral palsy (CP) and a description of the children with CP are reported here. Using a record review approach, we identified 204 10-year-old children with CP (resulting in a prevalence of 2.3 per 1000). The rate of CP was significantly higher among boys (prevalence odds ratio = 1.5; 95% confidence interval = 1.1, 2.0), and the rate was also higher among black children than white children (prevalence odds ratio = 1.3; 95% confidence interval = 1.0, 1.7). Thirty-three of the children (16%) acquired CP postnatally; these children were more likely to be black or male. The gender and racial differences found for acquired CP were greater than those for congenital CP. Approximately 75% of the children had one of the other four disabilities studied; 65% of the children were mentally retarded, 46% had epilepsy, and 15% had a sensory impairment. Our multiple-source method of identifying children with CP gave us a population-based sample from which to determine the prevalence of the condition and to study factors that are associated with CP.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Black People
  • Cerebral Palsy / complications
  • Cerebral Palsy / congenital
  • Cerebral Palsy / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Georgia / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Urban Population