New research on risk of cerebral palsy
Although preterm delivery is a well-established risk factor for cerebral palsy (CP), preterm deliveries contribute only a minority of affected infants. There is little information on the relation of CP risk to gestational age in the term range, where most CP occurs.
The new study found that babies born at 40 weeks had the lowest risk of CP. The risk for CP was higher with earlier or later delivery, specifically at 37-38 weeks and after 42 weeks. Researchers also found that the baby's sex, the mother's age, and various socioeconomic measures were not significant risk factors. Compared with delivery at 40 weeks, delivery at 37 or 38 weeks or at 42 weeks or later was associated with an increased risk of CP.
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