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Niger Postgrad Med J. 2018 Jul-Sep;25(3):156-160. doi: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_67_18.

Nutritional status in cerebral palsy: A Cross-sectional comparative survey of children in Kano, Nigeria.

Author information

Department of Paediatrics, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi, Nigeria.
Department of Paediatrics, College of Health Sciences, Bayero University and Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria.



Cerebral palsy (CP) is a common neurodevelopmental motor disorder resulting from early childhood brain insult. Nutrition in children is very important for growth and development. This is more so in those with chronic illnesses such as CP. This study was conducted with the aim of assessing the anthropometry and anthropometric indices of CP children.

Materials and Methods:

This comparative, cross-sectional study recruited 150 children with CP matched for age and sex, with 150 children without CP (as controls). The participants' socio-demographic and CP-related data were collected using a pre-tested questionnaire designed for the study. The weight and height of the subjects were measured. Nutritional status was determined using the World Health Organization Z-scores.


Overall prevalence of malnutrition in CP subjects was 86%. This was significantly higher than in controls, whose prevalence was 55.3% (χ2 = 34.027,P < 0.0001). The prevalence of stunting, wasting and underweight in CP subjects was 53.3%, 57.5% and 66.9%, respectively. These were also significantly higher than those of controls who had prevalence of stunting being 16.7%, wasting 8.5% and underweight 14.8%.


This study found a high prevalence of malnutrition (especially under-nutrition) and therefore underscores the need for more emphases on nutritional assessment, counselling and management in CP patients.


Anthropometry; cerebral palsy; malnutrition; nutritional status

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