Risk factors for cerebral palsy
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Cerebral palsy is a major cause of crippling in children, but it’s etiology is poorly understood. This case control study was done to assess some of the identified risk factors for cerebral palsy. 125 cerebral palsy cases selected from hospital clinic and 125 age and sex matched neighbourhood controls, all aged less than 5 years and residing in Delhi (India) were studied. Information regarding antenatal, natal and postnatal period was collected by mother’s interview, and wherever available, from hospital records with the study subjects. Most common type of cerebral palsy was spastic (88%). Quadriplegia was the commonest topographical subtype (86.4%). Birth asphyxia was found to be present in only 25.6% of cases. The commonest risk factor amongst cases was low birth weight (28.8%). The multivariate odds ratios (confidence limits) for the risk factors found to be significantly associated with cerebral palsy were 36.1 (7.76 – 160) for birth asphyxia, 13.8 (4.95 ‱ 38.3) for low birth weight, 37.4 (4.47 ‱ 313) for neonatal convulsion, 23 (4.7 ‱ 112) for neonatal jaundice, 14.4 (3.69 ‱ 56.4) for neonatal infection, 24.9 (2.78 ‱ 223) for instrument assisted delivery and 15.4 (1.57 ‱ 152) for antepartum hemorrhage. Precipitate labour, caesarean section, twins, toxemia, breech delivery and head injury were not found to be significantly associated with cerebral palsy. Thus birth asphyxia, low birth weight, neonatal convulsions, neonatal jaundice, neonatal infection, instrument assisted delivery and antepartum hemorrhage are significant risk factors for cerebral palsy.
Key wordsIndia Cerebral palsy Etiology Risk factors Case-control study
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