Co-Morbid Conditions of Epilepsy – Cognitive Dysfynction , Autism and Intellectual Disability

Epilepsy beyond seizure: A population-based study of comorbidities.


Comorbid conditions may affect the quality of life in persons with epilepsy (PWE) more than seizures.

Using legally mandated healthcare encounter data, somatic, psychiatric, and neurodevelopmental comorbidities in a large population-based cohort of PWE, were compared to persons with migraine (PWM), a similar neurologic condition, and lower extremity fracture (PWLF), otherwise healthy controls. 64,188 PWE, 121,990 PWM, and 89,808 PWLF were identified from inpatient, outpatient, and emergency department from 2000 to 2011.

Epilepsy was ascertained with ICD-9-CM code 345; migraine with 346; fracture of the tibia, fibula, and ankle with 823 and 824. Common comorbidities of epilepsy were identified from the literature. Differences in prevalence among PWE, PWM, and PWLF were assessed by comparison of 95% confidence intervals (CI) constructed under the assumption of independence and normal approximation. The association of the comorbid conditions with epilepsy and migraine, compared to lower extremity fracture, were evaluated with polytomous logistic regression controlling for demographic and mortality covariables.

PWE had significantly elevated prevalence of comorbidities compared with PWM and PWLF.

Compared with PWLF, the adjusted odds ratios (OR) of having both somatic and psychiatric/neurodevelopmental comorbidities were 5.44 (95% CI=5.25-5.63) and 2.49 (95% CI=2.42-2.55) in PWE and PWM, respectively.

The association with epilepsy was the strongest for

cognitive dysfunction (OR=28.1; 95% CI=23.3-33.8);

autism spectrum disorders (OR=22.2; 95% CI=16.8-29.3);

intellectual disability (OR=12.9; 95% CI=11.6-14.3); and

stroke (OR=4.2; 95% CI=4.1-4.4).

The absolute risk increase in PWE compared with PWM for any somatic or psychiatric/neurodevelopmental comorbidity was 58.8% and 94.3%, respectively.

Identifying comorbidities that are strongly and consistently associated with seizures, particularly disorders with shared underlying pathophysiology, is critical in identifying specific research and practice goals that may ultimately improve the quality of life for PWE. This study contributes to that effort by providing population-based comorbidity data for PWE compared with PWM and PWLF.


Further Readings of Interest

This entry was posted in Autism, co-morbid, Environment, epilepsy, Gut, Immune System, Inflammation, Neurology, Physiology, Treatment. Bookmark the permalink.

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