Depression, anxiety risks elevated for adults with cerebral palsy

  • Smith KJ & al.
  • JAMA Neurol
  • 28 Dec 2018

  • curated by Susan London
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Patients with cerebral palsy (CP) were more likely to develop depression and anxiety, but this association was mainly driven by elevated risks for those not having comorbid intellectual disability.

Why this matters

  • There is limited research on mental health outcomes among adults with CP.

Key results

  • Patients with CP had mean age of 33.3 years, and 21% had comorbid intellectual disability.
  • During a median follow-up of 5.7 and 6.0 years, respectively, in patients with CP:
    • 18.3% received new depression diagnosis.
    • 15.3% received new anxiety diagnosis.
  • Compared with control peers, patients with CP had elevated adjusted risks for:
    • Depression (HR, 1.28; P=.003).
    • Anxiety (HR, 1.38; P<.001>
  • In stratified analyses, risks were significantly elevated only for a subset of patients with CP who did not have comorbid intellectual disability:
    • Depression (HR, 1.44; P<.001>
    • Anxiety (HR, 1.55; P<.001>

Study design

  • UK primary care retrospective cohort study of 1705 adults with CP and 5115 age-, sex-, and practice-matched adults without CP.
  • Main outcomes: depression and anxiety as ascertained from Read codes.
  • Funding: Research Catalyst Award from Brunel University London.

Limitations

  • Possible underestimation of associations.
  • Inability to account for CP severity.
  • Potential preexisting mental health diagnoses not captured.

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