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J Paediatr Child Health. 2001 Apr;37(2):183-6.

Cerebral palsy in Victoria, Australia: mortality and causes of death.

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Department of Child Development and Rehabilitation, Royal Children's Hospital and Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.



To study the causes of death and the characteristics of children with cerebral palsy that had died over a 25-year period in Victoria, Australia.


Names of children that had died were collected from the Victorian Cerebral Palsy Register. Their hospital records were studied and information was gathered about age of death, motor impairment, the presence or absence of associated disabilities and cause of death.


One hundred and fifty-five children had died during the period 1970-95. The majority of children had severe spastic quadriplegia, intellectual disability and epilepsy. The predominant cause of death was pneumonia, although for many children who died at home the cause was unknown.


Children with cerebral palsy are a diverse group and those with a severe motor deficit have a reduced life expectancy. Lung disease remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality for this group. Further information about the causes of death is needed, particularly for those children that die at home.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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