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Mortality in Patients With Late-Onset Epilepsy: Results From the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.

TitleMortality in Patients With Late-Onset Epilepsy: Results From the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsJohnson EL, Krauss GL, Kucharska-Newton A, Lam AD, Sarkis R, Gottesman RF
Date Published2021 Jul 19

OBJECTIVE: To determine the risk of mortality and causes of death in persons with late-onset epilepsy (LOE) compared to those without epilepsy in a community-based sample, adjusting for demographics and comorbid conditions.

METHODS: This is an analysis of the prospective Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, initiated in 1987-1989 among 15,792 mostly black and white men and women in 4 U.S. communities. We used Centers for Medicare Services fee-for-service claims codes to identify cases of incident epilepsy starting at or after age 67. We used Cox proportional hazards analysis to identify the hazard of mortality associated with LOE and to adjust for demographics and vascular risk factors. We used death certificate data to identify dates and causes of death.

RESULTS: Analyses included 9090 participants, of whom 678 developed LOE during median 11.5 years of follow-up after age 67. Participants who developed LOE were at an increased hazard of mortality compared to those who did not, with adjusted hazard ratio 2.39 (95% CI 2.12-2.71). We observed excess mortality due to stroke, dementia, neurologic conditions, and end-stage renal disease in participants with compared to without LOE. Only 4 deaths (1.1%) were directly attributed to seizure-related causes.

CONCLUSIONS: Persons who develop LOE are at increased risk of death compared to those without epilepsy, even after adjusting for comorbidities. The majority of this excess mortality is due to stroke and dementia.

Alternate JournalNeurology
PubMed ID34282048