Global prevalence of cerebral palsy: A systematic analysis

Sarah McIntyre, Shona Goldsmith, Annabel Webb, Virginie Ehlinger, Sandra Julsen Hollung, Karen Mc Connell, Catherine Arnaud, Hayley Smithers-Sheedy, Maryam Oskoui, Gulam Khandaker, Kate Himmelmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)


Aim: To determine trends and current estimates in regional and global prevalence of cerebral palsy (CP).Method: A systematic analysis of data from participating CP registers/surveillance systems and population-based prevalence studies (from birth year 1995) was per-formed. Quality and risk of bias were assessed for both data sources. Analyses were conducted for pre-/perinatal, postnatal, neonatal, and overall CP. For each region, trends were statistically classified as increasing, decreasing, heterogeneous, or no change, and most recent prevalence estimates with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated. Meta- analyses were conducted to determine current birth prevalence estimates (from birth year 2010).Results: Forty-one regions from 27 countries across five continents were represented. Pre-/perinatal birth prevalence declined significantly across Europe and Australia (11 out of 14 regions), with no change in postneonatal CP. From the limited but increasing data available from regions in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), birth prevalence for pre-/perinatal CP was as high as 3.4 per 1000 (95% CI 3.0–3.9) live births. Following meta- analyses, birth prevalence for pre-/perinatal CP in regions from high-income countries (HICs) was 1.5 per 1000 (95% CI 1.4–1.6) live births, and 1.6 per 1000 (95% CI 1.5–1.7) live births when postneonatal CP was included. Interpretation: The birth prevalence estimate of CP in HICs declined to 1.6 per 1000 live births. Data available from LMICs indicated markedly higher birth prevalence.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental Medicine and Child Neurology
Early online date11 Aug 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Australian CP Register and the NSW/ACT CP Register are funded by the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Australia. The Northern Ireland Cerebral Palsy Register is funded by the Public Health Agency Northern Ireland. The Norwegian Quality and Surveillance Registry for Cerebral Palsy is funded by the South‐Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority. The Registry of Childhood Disabilities in Haute‐Garonne county (RHE31), France, is funded by the Public Health Agency France and the National Institute of Health and Medical Research. Registre des Handicaps de l'Enfant et Observatoire Périnatal, Grenoble, France.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Mac Keith Press.


  • cerebral palsy
  • prevalence
  • systematic analysis


Dive into the research topics of 'Global prevalence of cerebral palsy: A systematic analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this