Background: Childhood disability is a public health con-cern due to their impacts on quality of life and productivity not only for affected children but also for families and populations as a whole. There are at least 650 million people with disabilities worldwide.
Objective: To identify the major biological predictors of disabilities in children, the potential pre-natal, natal, and post-natal risk factors for the disabled children in Riyadh rural areas.
Materials and Methods: A survey of 450 Saudi children, pre-school and school age children, below 20 years was carried out between October 2010 and March 2011 with approval by the Institutional Review Board. The study was conducted from children day care center at Riyadh rural area. Data were collected from the case files by clinical staff.
Results: Children with motor disabilities represented the highest percentage, followed by those having speech, mental, and educational disabilities. The least number of disabilities was the children with auditory deficits. The results of the current study have emphasized certain pre-natal risk factors including extreme ages of marriage, high parity, illiteracy, and consanguineous marriages. Consanguinity, multiparty, and mother childbirth age could be considered as a risk factor for mental (risk ratios (RR) 2.06, 95% CI 1.526-2.7), (RR 1.8, 95% CI 1.2-2.6), (RR 4.7, 95% CI 2.6-8.47) and auditory disabilities (RR 2.6, 95% CI 1.7-3.76), (RR 2, 95% CI 1.25-3.19), (RR 2.6, 95% CI 1.29-5.2). According to our study caesarian labor and prematurity could be considered as a risk factor for motor disability (RR 2.3, 95% CI 1.7-3.1), (RR 2.6, 95% CI 1.46-4.6) while multiparity, very low birth weight, and prematurity were associated with increased risk for speech disabilities (RR 1.14, 95% CI 0.76-1.7), (RR 1.46, 95% CI 0.76-2.76), (RR 7.3, 95% CI 4.9-10.3). In addition, caesarian labor was associated with increased risk for auditory disabilities (RR 1.13, 95% CI 0.59-3.49), while multiparity and mother childbirth age were associated with increased risk for visual disabilities (RR 5.6, 95% CI 4.1-8.27), (RR 7.2, 95% CI 4.19-12.3).
Conclusion: Increasing the knowledge about disabilities’ risk factor could reduce the incidence of future disability.