Growth during infancy and early childhood in children with cerebral palsy: a population-based study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionDevelopmental Medicine & Child Neurology. 2016, 58 (9), 924-930. 10.1111/dmcn.13098
Aim To describe growth in infancy and early childhood in children with cerebral palsy (CP). Method One hundred and four children with CP born at minimum 36 weeks' gestation in 2002 to 2010 were included. Prospectively collected growth data were requested from public health clinics. We calculated standard deviation (SD) scores (z-scores) for weight and height for 12 set age points for each child from birth to 5 years, and for head circumference from birth to 12 months. Results Children with CP had normal growth in weight and height if they were born non-small for gestational age (non-SGA) or had mild motor impairments (i.e. Gross Motor Function Classification System [GMFCS] I–II), whereas children born SGA or with severe motor impairments (GMFCS III–V) had reduced growth (p<0.001). Children with feeding difficulties in infancy had reduced growth in weight and height throughout early childhood, while children without feeding difficulties had normal growth. Head circumference growth decreased most severely among children born SGA, who had mean z-scores of −3.0 (95% confidence interval [CI] −3.7 to −2.2) at 1 year. Interpretation Children with mild CP had normal growth in weight and height until 5 years, and in head circumference during infancy. Feeding difficulties in infancy and being born SGA were strongly associated with reduced growth.