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AES: Higher Mortality in Epilepsy Patients Evaluated

Adverse birth outcomes only partly explain the increased risk of death


THURSDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The higher rate of mortality associated with epilepsy -- particularly shortly after disease onset -- is only partly explained by adverse birth outcomes, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society, held from Dec. 3 to 7 in San Antonio.

Jakob Christensen, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues evaluated a large cohort of Danish children born between 1977 and 2006 from the 29th day of life until death, emigration, or the end of the year 2006 to estimate overall and cause-specific mortality in epilepsy patients.

The researchers found that, of the 10,648 people who died between Jan. 1, 1977, and the end of the study, 806 were diagnosed with epilepsy before death. The risk of mortality in those with epilepsy was higher than the general public even after excluding those with adverse birth outcomes; the overall mortality rate ratio (MRR) was 14.63, and it was especially high just after onset of epilepsy and in the first five years of life for both males and females.

"People with epilepsy had a highly increased MRR. The mortality rate was extremely high shortly after onset with epilepsy and for people with early onset of epilepsy. The increased mortality rate was only partially explained by adverse birth outcomes," the authors write.

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