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February 8, 2018
Five and 10 minute Apgar scores inform of risk of cerebral palsy and epilepsy: population based cohort study in Sweden

Risks of cerebral palsy and epilepsy are inversely associated with five minute and 10 minute Apgar scores across the entire range of Apgar scores, according to BMJ study.

Objective: To investigate associations between Apgar score (a measure of the physical condition of a newborn infant) at five and 10 minutes and risks of childhood cerebral palsy or epilepsy, and to analyze the effect of changes in Apgar scores from five to 10 minutes after birth in infants born ≥37 completed weeks.

Design, setting, and participants: Population-based cohort study in Sweden, including 1,213,470 non-malformed live singleton infants, born at term between 1999 and 2012. 

Main outcome measure: Cerebral palsy and epilepsy diagnosed up to 16 years of age. 

Results: 1,221 (0.1%) children were diagnosed as having cerebral palsy and 3,975 (0.3%) as having epilepsy. Increased epilepsy hazard ratios were noted in infants with a five minute Apgar score of 7 or less and a 10 minute Apgar score of 8 or less. Compared with infants with an Apgar of 9-10 at both five and 10 minutes, hazard ratios of cerebral palsy and epilepsy were higher among infants with a five minute Apgar score of 7-8 and a 10 minute Apgar score of 9-10.

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