Does nuchal cord at birth increase the risk for cerebral palsy?

Gil Gutvirtz, Tamar Wainstock, Roee Masad, Daniella Landau, Eyal Sheiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Nuchal cord is a common finding in pregnancy. It is unclear whether a nuchal cord at birth causes birth asphyxia and raises the risk for developing cerebral palsy of the offspring. Aim: To evaluate the incidence of cerebral palsy in children born with and without nuchal cord. Study design: A population-based cohort analysis including all singleton deliveries over >20 years at a single tertiary medical center was conducted. The incidence of cerebral palsy in children up to 18 years of age was evaluated. Kaplan-Meier survival curve was used to compare cumulative incidence between the groups, and a Cox proportional hazards model was used to control for confounders. Results: During the study period, 243,682 singleton deliveries met the inclusion criteria. Of them, 14.1% (n = 34,332) were diagnosed with nuchal cord at birth. Rates of cerebral palsy were comparable between the groups (0.1% vs. 0.1%, OR = 1.03, 95% CI 0.69–1.52, p = 0.89). The Kaplan-Meier survival curve demonstrated no significant differences in cumulative incidence of cerebral palsy for children born with or without nuchal cord (log rank p = 0.92, Fig. 1). The Cox proportional hazards model, controlled for preterm delivery, maternal age, diabetes and hypertensive disorders, showed no association between nuchal cord and cerebral palsy (adjusted HR = 1.06; 95% CI 0.71–1.57; p = 0.77). Conclusion: In our population, nuchal cord at birth was not associated with higher risk for cerebral palsy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalEarly Human Development
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • Birth asphyxia
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Long-term follow up
  • Nuchal cord
  • Pediatric hospitalization


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