Prevalence, trends, and correlates of malnutrition among hospitalized children with cerebral palsy

Fabiola I. Reyes, Jason L. Salemi, Deepa Dongarwar, Caila B. Magazine, Hamisu M. Salihu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Aim: This cross-sectional study characterized the prevalence, trends, sociodemographic factors, and clinical factors that are associated with a coded diagnosis of malnutrition (CDM) among hospitalized children with cerebral palsy (CP) in the USA. Method: We used data from the 2002 to 2015 National Inpatient Sample database and restricted the analysis to hospitalized children with CP between 2 and 17 years of age. International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Edition, Clinical Modification diagnosis codes for CP, malnutrition, and comorbidities associated with CP were used to characterize hospitalizations for this population. Logistic regression models were conducted to identify the sociodemographic factors and comorbidities associated with a diagnosis of malnutrition. Results: The average documented rate of CDM among hospitalized children with CP was 7.9% and nearly doubled during the study period. The model suggests that younger age, non-white ethnicity, lower income, and non-private insurance/payer status were associated with increased odds of documented malnutrition. Concomitant inpatient diagnoses of epilepsy, dysphagia, scoliosis, reflux, and constipation were associated with higher rates of CDM. Interpretation: The rate of CDM in hospitalized patients with CP is well under the estimated clinical prevalence of 30% to 40%. Multiple sociodemographic, hospital, and clinical factors are associated with higher rates of CDM. What this paper adds: The documented rate of malnutrition in hospitalized children with cerebral palsy (CP) averaged 7.9% yearly. For hospitalized children with CP, documentation of malnutrition nearly doubled between 2002 and 2015. Economically disadvantaged and minority ethnic groups had a greater likelihood of malnutrition documentation. Inpatient malnutrition documentation was more likely with some comorbidities indicative of greater impairments. Gastrointestinal disorders increased the likelihood of an inpatient-documented diagnosis of malnutrition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1432-1438
Number of pages7
JournalDevelopmental Medicine and Child Neurology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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