Background The present study investigated the annual prevalence of cerebral palsy (CP) among children aged <7 years in Taiwan and the association between socioeconomic status and CP prevalence. Methods Data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database for the 2002−2008 period were used in this population-based study. Severe and total CP were defined according to catastrophic illness certificate and medical claim records, respectively. The annual CP prevalence was calculated as the number of children with CP among all children aged <7 years. Results From 2002 to 2008, the annual prevalence of total and severe CP ranged from 1.9 to 2.8 and from 1.1 to 1.4 per 1000 children, respectively. Boys were 30% more likely to have CP than girls [adjusted relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) ranged from 1.3 (1.2−1.4) to 1.4 (1.2−1.5)]. Low family income was associated with a higher CP prevalence [adjusted RR (95% CI) ranged from 5.1 (4.2−6.2) to 6.4 (5.4−7.6)]. The prevalence of CP in rural area was higher than that in urban or suburban areas. The mortality rate of severe CP ranged from 12.2−22.7 per 1000 children within the 7 years study period. Conclusions The prevalence of CP in Taiwan is similar to that in Western countries. A higher prevalence of CP is associated with male sex, low income, and rural residential location. Our findings provide insights into CP epidemiology among the Chinese population.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0191724
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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