Risk Factors for Cerebral Palsy in Children in Botswana.

Year of Publication


Date Published

2017 Aug 03

ISSN Number



<p><strong>BACKGROUND: </strong>Although cerebral palsy is reported to have a higher prevalence in low-resource settings, there are few studies describing risk factors for cerebral palsy in these settings. A better understanding of the unique risk factors affecting children with cerebral palsy in low-resource settings could optimize both resource allocation and preventative strategies.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>A case-control study comparing children with cerebral palsy at ages two to 18 years with age-matched healthy control subjects was conducted between 2013 and 2014 at a referral center in Gaborone, Botswana. Study participants were enrolled from inpatient and outpatient settings, and data were collected through caregiver interviews, review of medical records, and physical examination of subjects. Risk factors were evaluated using conditional logistic regression models.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>We studied 56 subjects with cerebral palsy and 56 age-matched control subjects. Significant risk factors for cerebral palsy included a history of serious neonatal infection (odds ratio 15.0, P&nbsp;=&nbsp;0.009), complications during delivery (odds ratio 13.5, P&nbsp;&lt;&nbsp;0.001), and maternal human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection (odds ratio 3.5, P&nbsp;=&nbsp;0.03). Maternal HIV infection remained a significant risk factor after adjusting for potential confounders and covariates (adjusted odds ratio 13.2, P&nbsp;=&nbsp;0.05).</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>Major risk factors for cerebral palsy in Botswana differ from those described in high-resource settings. Modifiable risk factors such as maternal HIV infection should be targeted as a potential strategy to reduce the incidence of cerebral palsy in Botswana. Further studies are necessary to determine optimal preventative and treatment strategies in this population.</p>



Alternate Title

Pediatr. Neurol.




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