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Dev Med Child Neurol. 2016 Sep;58(9):936-41. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.13108. Epub 2016 Mar 31.

Association between gross motor function and nutritional status in children with cerebral palsy: a cross-sectional study from Colombia.

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School of Nutrition and Dietetics, Epidemiological Observatory of Cardiovascular Diseases Research Group, Industrial University of Santander, Bucaramanga;
Physiotherapy Program and CliniUDES Research Group, University of Santander, Bucaramanga.
Faculty of Health Sciences, Autonomous University of Bucaramanga, Santander, Bucaramanga.
School of Nutrition and Dietetics, Industrial University of Santander, Bucaramanga, Colombia.



To determine the association between gross motor function and nutritional status in children with cerebral palsy (CP) residing in an urban area in a developing country.


We conducted a cross-sectional study in 177 children (ages 2-12y, 59.3% male) with a diagnosis of CP who were attending rehabilitation centres in Bucaramanga, Colombia (2012-2013). A physiotherapist evaluated patients using the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS, levels I to V). Nutritional status was evaluated by nutritionists and classified according to the World Health Organization growth charts. We used linear and multinomial logistic regression methods to determine the associations.


There were 39.5%, 6.8%, 5.6%, 16.4%, and 31.6% patients classified in levels I to V respectively. The mean adjusted differences for weight-for-age, height-for-age, BMI-for-age, and height-for-weight z-scores were significantly larger for children classified in levels II to V compared with those in level I. The children classified in levels IV and V were more likely to have malnutrition (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 5.64; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.27-14.0) and stunting (OR 8.42; 95% CI 2.90-24.4) than those classified in GMFCS levels I to III.


Stunting and malnutrition are prevalent conditions among paediatric patients with CP, and both are directly associated with higher levels of gross motor dysfunction.

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