From the Journals

Osteoporosis, osteoarthritis risk high among cerebral palsy patients



Risks of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, but not that for inflammatory musculoskeletal diseases, are high among adults with cerebral palsy (CP), compared with adults without the disorder, according to a study published in Bone.

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Neil E. O’Connell, PhD, of Brunel University London, and colleagues assessed the risks of osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and inflammatory musculoskeletal diseases in a population-based cohort study that used data collected by the U.K. Clinical Practice Research Datalink during 1987-2015. The study included 1,705 patients with CP and 5,115 patients matched for age, sex, and general practices; data on smoking status and alcohol consumption for many of the patients also were gathered.

After adjustment for smoking status, alcohol consumption, and mean yearly general practice visits, investigators found evidence of significantly increased risk for osteoarthritis (hazard ratio, 1.54; 95% confidence interval, 1.17-2.02; P = .002) and osteoporosis (HR, 6.19; 95% CI, 3.37-11.39; P less than .001); they did not see increased risk for inflammatory musculoskeletal diseases (HR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.45-1.75; P = .731).

One limitation of the study is the risk for residual confounding given the investigators could not account for mobility status or physical activity. Other limitations include potential incompleteness of diagnostic code lists, how identification of cases is depending on quality of original recording in the database, and that data regarding smoking status and alcohol consumption were missing for a substantial proportion of patients.

“Despite previous studies identifying a high prevalence of joint pain and functional deterioration among people with CP, there is a dearth of literature on the burden of musculoskeletal disorders in this population,” they wrote. “Further research is required into effective management of these conditions in adults with CP.”

This study was supported by an interdisciplinary award from Brunel University London’s Research Catalyst Fund. The authors declared no competing interests.

SOURCE: O’Connell NE et al. Bone. 2019 Aug;125:30-5.

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