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February 21, 1966

Survival in Cerebral Palsy

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics (Dr. Cohen) and the Department of Preventive Medicine (Dr. Mustacchi), University of California-San Francisco Medical Center, and the Office of Biometry and Epidemiology, Childrens' Hospital, San Francisco (Dr. Mustacchi).

JAMA. 1966;195(8):642-644. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100080082021

Eighty-eight deaths occurred in a study group of 1,416 individuals with cerebral palsy under the age of 21 years during 8,031 person-years of follow-up. This represented an eight- to ninefold excess over "expected" mortality— the smallest excess being in the spastic individuals (tripling) and the largest in patients with multifocal disease and mixed deficits (18-fold increase). The relative longevity of noninstitutionalized individuals with cerebral palsy calls for long-range planning different from that which is adequate for the markedly accelerated mortality of their institutionalized counterparts.