Epilepsy patients ‘could be at an increased risk of stroke’

Posted May 7 2014 in Conditions related to epilepsy

Epilepsy patients may need to be monitored for an increased risk of stroke, according to new research from Taiwan.

The study, which was published in May 2014 edition of the medical journal Seizure, investigated the incidence and risk of stroke in patients with epilepsy using Taiwan National Health Insurance claims data.

Researchers identified 3,812 patients newly diagnosed with epilepsy in 2000 to 2008, comparing the findings to those of 15,248 people without epilepsy, before searching for subsequent stroke diagnoses in both cohorts until the end of 2009.

It was found that patients with epilepsy exhibited a threefold higher incidence of cerebral stroke than the general population, with the risk shown to be highest among those aged between 20 and 39, or among patients who took high doses of antiepileptic drugs.

Strokes are serious medical events that occur when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. Epilepsy is recognised as a common condition among post-stroke patients, but prior to this, studies investigating the association between epilepsy and a risk of subsequent stroke have been limited.

Posted by Steve Long

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