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To quantify the prevalence of cerebral palsy (CP) in British Columbia within a four-year birth cohort.
The study was a population-based record linkage study of a birth cohort of British Columbian children born between April 1, 1991 and March 31, 1995. Cases were identified by the presence of International Classification of Diseases, Version 9 (ICD-9) diagnostic code “343” recorded at three years of age or older or by having the ICD-9 diagnostic code “343” recorded prior to the third birthday with two confirmatory diagnoses within the first three years of life through a record search of the BC Medical Services Plan billing files for the fiscal years 1991 to 1995.
This research has provided an estimate of the prevalence of CP in the four-year birth cohort 1991 to 1995 in British Columbia. An aggregate prevalence rate of CP was measured as 2.68 per 1000 live births, and a congenital rate was measured at 2.57 for the same population. Birth weight and gestational age demonstrated a significant relationship with the development of CP. This study should lend credence to the establishment of a CP register in British Columbia.
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