Cerebral Palsy Occurrence in the US
Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in childhood, affecting approximately 1 in 303 8-year-old children in the US.
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of disorders that affect a person's ability to move and maintain balance and posture. CP is one of the developmental disabilities that is tracked by the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, a multi-site surveillance program funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Researchers from the ADDM Network recently released a report on the prevalence (occurrence) and features of CP in 8-year-old children living in four areas of the United States in 2006. This report is the first multi-site, population-based study in the US to provide estimates of co-occurring developmental disabilities, gross motor function, and walking ability among children with CP. This report also presents updated CP prevalence data.
For 2006, the ADDM CP Network reported that:
- The average prevalence of CP was approximately 3.3 per 1,000 or 1 in every 303 8-year-old children living in areas of Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, and Wisconsin;
- CP prevalence varied by site, ranging from 2.9 per 1,000 8-year-olds in Wisconsin to 3.8 per 1,000 8-year-olds in Georgia;
- Overall, CP prevalence was significantly lower among Hispanic children than among Black or White children;
- CP, on average, occurred 1.2 times more frequently among boys than among girls;
- Spastic CP was the most common type of CP, found among approximately 80% of children with CP; and
- While 56% of children with CP were able to walk independently, 33% had limited or no walking ability.
Children with CP and their families have a pressing need for enhanced health, education, and intervention services. Population-based data on CP prevalence, level of function, and co-occurring developmental disabilities can increase our understanding of the complexities of CP and inform planning for services and community participation.
- CDC's "Learn the Signs. Act Early." Campaign (also available in Spanish)
- Cerebral Palsy
- Reaching For The Stars: A Foundation of Hope For Children With Cerebral Palsy
- American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine
- Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation
Kirby RS, Wingate MS, Van Naarden Braun K, Doernberg NS, Arneson CL, Benedict RE, Mulvihill B, Durkin MS, Fitzgerald RT, Maenner MJ, Patz JA, Yeargin-Allsopp M. "Prevalence and functioning of children with cerebral palsy in four areas of the United States in 2006: a report from the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network." Res Dev Disabil. 2011 Mar-Apr;32(2):462-9. Epub 2011 Jan 26.
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