Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Low Apgar score at birth linked to cerebral palsy

Date:
October 8, 2010
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
A low Apgar score at birth is strongly associated with cerebral palsy in childhood, concludes a new study.

A low Apgar score at birth is strongly associated with cerebral palsy in childhood, concludes a study from researchers in Norway published on the British Medical Journal website.

Related Articles


The Apgar score is a quick and simple way to assess a baby's condition at birth. The baby is assessed on five simple criteria (complexion, pulse rate, reaction when stimulated, muscle tone, and breathing) on a scale from zero to two. The five values are then summed up to obtain a score from zero to 10.

Scores of 3 and below are generally regarded as critically low, 4 to 6 fairly low, and 7 to 10 generally normal.

Cerebral palsy is a rare disease, affecting two to three infants in every 1000 live born children in Western countries. Recent studies have found a strong link between low Apgar score and cerebral palsy in children born to term or with normal birth weight, whereas studies in children with a low birth weight or born preterm have shown conflicting results.

Using linked data from the Medical Birth Registry of Norway and the Norwegian Registry of Cerebral Palsy in Children, the researchers assessed the association of Apgar score five minutes after birth with cerebral palsy in 543,064 children born between 1986 and 1995.

A total of 988 children included in the study (1.8 in 1000) were diagnosed with cerebral palsy before the age of five years.

Low Apgar score was strongly associated with later diagnosis of cerebral palsy. The prevalence of cerebral palsy in children with Apgar score of less than 3 was more than 100-fold higher than in children with a score of 10.

This association was high in children with normal birth weight and modest in children with low birth weight.

Low Apgar score was also associated with all subgroups of spastic cerebral palsy, but the association was strongest for quadriplegia.

"Despite the strong association of low Apgar score with cerebral palsy, it is encouraging that almost 90% of children with an Apgar score of less than 4 at birth did not develop cerebral palsy," say the authors.

Given that Apgar score is a measure of vitality shortly after birth, our findings suggest that the causes of cerebral palsy are closely linked to factors that reduce infant vitality, they conclude. In fact, low Apgar score might be interpreted as an indicator of brain impairment that has occurred during pregnancy or delivery.

In an accompanying editorial, Professor Nigel Paneth from Michigan State University in the US says that a low Apgar score in a baby of normal weight "is an important clue that the baby has an increased risk of death and disability, even though most infants with such scores recover quickly and do well."

He advises that such babies should be watched closely for the persistence or development of signs of brain damage, especially in the light of robust evidence that babies with brain injury may benefit from head or body cooling.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. K. K. Lie, E.-K. Groholt, A. Eskild. Association of cerebral palsy with Apgar score in low and normal birthweight infants: population based cohort study. BMJ, 2010; 341 (oct06 6): c4990 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.c4990

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Low Apgar score at birth linked to cerebral palsy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101007210544.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2010, October 8). Low Apgar score at birth linked to cerebral palsy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101007210544.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Low Apgar score at birth linked to cerebral palsy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101007210544.htm (accessed February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

AP (Feb. 1, 2015) Two climbers who were hurt in a fall on Mount Hood are now being treated for their injuries. Rescue officials say they were airlifted off the mountain Saturday afternoon by an Oregon National Guard helicopter. (Feb. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 1, 2015) New augmented reality smart glasses developed by researchers at Oxford University can help people with visual impairments improve their vision by providing depth-based feedback, allowing users to "see" better. Joel Flynn reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 31, 2015) The CDC says this year&apos;s flu season is hitting people 65 years of age and older especially hard. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins