Adults with cerebral palsy twice as likely to develop cardiovascular and respiratory diseases


  • Dawn O'Shea
  • Univadis Medical News
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Adults with cerebral palsy are about twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease and chronic respiratory disease compared to adults without cerebral palsy, according to a new study led by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and Brunel University London.

The study compared 1,705 adults with cerebral palsy and 5,115 controls without cerebral palsy to identify how many developed non-infectious diseases. The research is published in the current edition of Neurology.

Patients with cerebral palsy were 75 per cent more likely to have a non-communicable disease. After adjusting for other variables, the study found that adults with cerebral palsy were around twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease and chronic respiratory disease, but not more likely to develop diabetes or cancer.

Adults with cerebral palsy were 2.6 times more likely to develop heart failure, 5.5 times more likely to have a stroke, and 2.2 times more likely to develop asthma.

The authors say the findings highlight the need for clinical vigilance regarding identification of noncommunicable disease in people with cerebral palsy. They call for further research into the aetiology and management of noncommunicable disease in this population.