Adults With Cerebral Palsy Face Increased Risk of Chronic Conditions: Study
The findings of new research suggests that adults with cerebral palsy may be more likely to suffer from a number of chronic conditions, including diabetes, asthma, hypertension and heart problems.
The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) on December 1, looking at the risks of eight different chronic conditions, usually lifestyle-related, and comparing those with cerebral palsy to those without.
University of Michigan researchers looked at medical condition files covering nine years of data on more than 200,000 adults, more than 1,000 of whom had cerebral palsy. The data was collected from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality from 2002 to 2010.
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According to the findings, adults with cerebral palsy were at a two to five times higher risk of diabetes, asthma, hypertension, heart problems, stroke, emphysema, joint pain and arthritis. The largest difference was with asthma, which afflicted 20.7% of cerebral palsy adults, compared to 9.4% of adults without CP.
Researchers indicate that age, sex, weight, physical disability and inactivity were all factors that increased the risk of those chronic conditions, but the higher rates for adults with CP persisted even after those factors were taken into account.
Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that is usually attributed to brain damage suffered before, during or shortly after birth. If the child’s brain is deprived of oxygen around the time of birth, it can result in irreversible damage that leaves the child with developmental problems, loss of motor functions and other life-long injuries and disabilities.
While there is no cure for the disorder, early diagnosis may increase the treatment options and the likelihood that the severity of cerebral palsy may be reduced, resulting in permanent improvements in quality of life for the child.
In many cases, cerebral palsy is caused by a birth injury or medical mistake that may have been prevented by the exercise of the proper standards of medical care. In those cases, families may be able to pursue financial compensation for the child through a cerebral palsy malpractice lawsuit.
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