A recent study from the University of Michigan suggests that adults with cerebral palsy may be more likely to other chronic conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, than adults without cerebral palsy.

In the study, published December 1 in JAMA, lead author Mark Peterson, PhD, MS, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Michigan, and others on the research team looked at data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, a set of large-scale surveys conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, to find and collect data on healthcare services, usage and costs.

The study included 207,615 adults, ages 18 or older, with 1,015 of those having cerebral palsy, explains a media release from University of Michigan Health System.

The team determined adults with cerebral palsy were between two and five times more likely to have these chronic health conditions than adults without cerebral palsy. After adjusting for age, numerous sociodemographic factors, body mass index, physical activity, and degree of disability, they still found the prevalence of chronic health conditions significantly greater in adults with cerebral palsy, the release explains.

Specifically, per the release, they found differences in the following conditions: diabetes (9.2% in adults with cerebral palsy, 6.3% in those without); asthma (20.7% versus 9.4%); hypertension (30% versus 22.1%); other cardiovascular conditions (15.1% versus 9.1%); stroke (4.6% versus 2.3%); emphysema (3.8% versus 1.4%); joint pain (43.6% versus 28%); and arthritis (31.4% versus 17.4%).

The researchers also found age, sex, obesity, and degree of physical disability and physical inactivity to be significantly associated with each of the chronic conditions, the release notes.

“Because cerebral palsy results in accelerated losses of mobility with age, individuals tend to experience more fatigue and have greater muscle and joint pain over time. We found physical inactivity and immobility were strongly associated with these chronic health conditions,” Peterson states in the release.

“Therefore, we need to strongly consider how these health complications could further impact this population, and how we can prevent or reduce these conditions among individuals with cerebral palsy through their lifespan,” he adds.

[Source(s): University of Michigan Health System, Science Daily]