Background: Individuals living with cerebral palsy (CP) or spina bifida (SB) are at heightened risk for chronic health conditions that may develop or be influenced by the impairment and/or the process of aging. Objectives: The objective of this study was to compare the incidence of and adjusted hazards for musculoskeletal (MSK) morbidities among adults living with and without CP or SB. Methods: A retrospective, longitudinal cohort study was conducted among adults living with (n = 15,302) CP or SB and without (n = 1,935,480) CP or SB. Incidence estimates of common MSK morbidities were compared at 4 years of enrollment. Survival models were used to quantify unadjusted and adjusted hazard ratios for incident MSK morbidities. The analyses were performed in 2019 to 2020. Results: Adults living with CP or SB had a higher 4-year incidence of any MSK morbidity (55.3% vs. 39.0%) as compared to adults without CP or SB, and differences were to a clinically meaningful extent. Fully adjusted survival models demonstrated that adults with CP or SB had a greater hazard for all MSK disorders; this ranged from hazard ratio (HR) 1.40 (95% CI, 1.33 to 1.48) for myalgia to HR 3.23 (95% CI, 3.09 to 3.38) for sarcopenia and weakness. Conclusion: Adults with CP or SB have a significantly higher incidence of and risk for common MSK morbidities as compared to adults without CP or SB. Efforts are needed to facilitate the development of improved clinical screening algorithms and early interventions to reduce risk of MSK disease onset/progression in these higher risk populations.

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