HealthDay News — Adults with cerebral palsy (CP) have an increased prevalence of mental health disorders, according to a study published online Aug. 6 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Daniel G. Whitney, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan Depression Center in Ann Arbor, and colleagues examined the prevalence of mental health disorders among adults with versus those without CP using data from 8.7 million adults, including 7,348 adults with CP. The prevalence of 37 mental health disorders (as six categories) was identified based on diagnosis codes.

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The researchers found that compared with men without CP, those with CP had a higher age-standardized prevalence for schizophrenic disorders (2.8 [95 percent confidence interval (CI), 2.2 to 3.4 percent] versus 0.7 percent), mood affective disorders (19.5 [95 percent CI, 18.0 to 21.0 percent] versus 8.1 percent), anxiety disorders (19.5 [95 percent CI, 18.0 to 21.0 percent] versus 11.1 percent), disorders of adult personality and behavior (1.2 [95 percent CI, 0.8 to 1.6 percent] versus 0.3 percent), and alcohol- and opioid-related disorders (4.7 [95 percent CI, 3.9 to 5.5 percent] versus 3.0 percent). In women, the same pattern was seen. Adults with CP and neurodevelopmental disorders had a similar or higher age-standardized prevalence of the six mental health disorder categories compared with adults with CP alone, except for a lower prevalence of alcohol- and opioid-related disorders in men.

“Increasing clinical awareness of the mental health disorders and risks among adults with CP, improving clinical screening strategies, and developing efficient referral resources for mental health care services may help reduce the burden of mental health disorders in this population,” the authors write.

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