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International Journal of Pediatrics
Volume 2012, Article ID 168209, 8 pages
Research Article

Arterial Structure and Function in Ambulatory Adolescents with Cerebral Palsy Are Not Different from Healthy Controls

1Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 4K1
2Child Health & Exercise Medicine Program, McMaster University, 565 Sanatorium Road, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8N 3Z5
3CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability Research, McMaster University, 1400 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 1C7

Received 1 December 2011; Revised 14 March 2012; Accepted 30 March 2012

Academic Editor: Margaret E. O'Neil

Copyright © 2012 Audra A. Martin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Physical inactivity in youth with cerebral palsy (CP) places them at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The current study assessed indices of arterial health in adolescents with CP, classified as levels I-II of the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) ( , age  yr), in comparison to age- and sex-matched controls ( , age  yr). Groups were similar in anthropometric measurements, resting blood pressures, and heart rates. There were no group differences in brachial flow-mediated dilation ( versus ), carotid intima-media thickness ( versus  mm), and distensibility ( versus  mmHg) or central ( versus  m/s) and peripheral pulse wave velocity ( versus  m/s); CP versus healthy controls, respectively. Vigorous intensity physical activity (PA) was lower in the CP group (CP:  min versus controls:  min); groups were similar in light and moderate intensity PA levels. Arterial health of ambulatory youth with CP is not different from a control group despite lower vigorous PA levels. Similar studies need to examine individuals with more pronounced mobility limitations (GMFCS level III–V).