Body mass index measures in children with cerebral palsy related to gross motor function classification: A clinic-based study

Edward A. Hurvitz, Liza B. Green, Joseph E. Hornyak, Seema R. Khurana, Lauren Gerard Koch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To investigate the prevalence of overweight in a clinic-based population of children with cerebral palsy (CP) and its association with gross motor function status. DESIGN: Retrospective chart review. We calculated body mass index (BMI; kg/m) from charted height and weight and recorded Gross Motor Function Classification Scale (GMFCS levels I-V) on the basis of clinical descriptions in clinic notes for 137 children (2-18 yrs old) with CP seen in a pediatric rehabilitation clinic at an academic medical center. BMI percentiles were reported according to sex-specific age group standards for growth set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Associations were modeled by Pearson's χ distribution. RESULTS: Out of the total CP subject group, 29.1% were considered overweight (>95th percentile) or at risk for overweight (85th to 95th percentile). Ambulatory children (GMFCS levels I and II) showed a trend (Pearson's χ, P = 0.06) toward higher prevalence of overweight (22.7%) compared with nonambulatory children (levels IV and V, 9.6%). Underweight was more prevalent in nonambulatory children (P < 0.01). Logistic regression analysis did not identify any significant predictors for overweight. CONCLUSIONS: In our patient population, analysis of BMI suggests that children with CP have a high rate of overweight and are at risk of overweight, particularly among ambulatory children. More study is needed, using measures more accurate than BMI, to clarify risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-403
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Body Mass Index
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Children
  • Disabilities
  • Gross Motor Function
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Motor Disorder
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Medicine(all)


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