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Lower 5-, 10-minute Apgar scores up risk of cerebral palsy, epilepsy

12 Feb 2018
Newborn infant baby boy receiving phototherapy for jaundice at the hospital.

There appears to be an inverse relationship between Apgar scores at 5 and 10 minutes and the risk of cerebral palsy and epilepsy, with lower scores corresponding to significantly elevated risks, a recent study has found.

Apgar scores at 5 and 10 minutes after birth were collected from 1,213,470 nonmalformed live singleton infants, of whom 0.1 percent (n=1,221) eventually developed cerebral palsy while 0.3 percent (n=3,975) developed epilepsy.

Decreasing Apgar scores at 5 minutes significantly increased the risk of cerebral palsy. Compared to a score of 10, those who scored 9 had a slight but significant increase in risk (hazard ratio [HR], 1.9; 95 percent CI, 1.6–2.2) which grew substantially in those with scores of 5 (HR, 32.6; 23.4–45.6) and 0 (HR, 277.7; 154.4–499.5).

The same trend was observed for 10-minute Apgar scores. The risk of cerebral palsy was significantly higher in those with a score of 9 vs 10 (HR, 2.4; 1.9–3.0) and escalated as the scores decreased further (HR for score of 5, 103.6; 69.8–153.7; HR for sore of 0, 237.7; 104.4–540.8).

The risk of epilepsy also decreased with increasing Apgar scores, but the trends were less clear. The risk was significantly greater in those with 5-minute scores of 0 vs 10 (HR, 11.9; 2.9–49.3), but discrepancies existed, such as lower risk associated with a score of 1 (HR, 2.6; 0.4–18.9) than with scores of 2 (HR, 4.1; 1.5–11.0) or 3 (HR, 4.4; 2.2–8.7).

The overall trend remained similar with regard to 10-minute Apgar scores. Epilepsy risk was significantly higher in those who scored 0 (HR, 11.0; 1.5–80.8), while some outliers still remain. The risk was higher in those who had a 10-minute Apgar score of 3 (HR, 15.8; 6.5–38.5). 

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Most Read Articles
Elaine Soliven, 12 Jan 2018
Use of metformin during the first trimester of pregnancy showed no significant maternal or foetal adverse outcomes in women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), according to a study presented at IDF 2017.
Roshini Claire Anthony, 12 Jan 2018

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