Highlights from

EAN 2019

European Academy of Neurology

Oslo 29 June - 2 July 2019

Long-term effect of recurrent febrile seizures

Febrile seizures are relatively common in childhood, affecting 3-4% of children, and are generally considered benign. Recurrent febrile seizures in children, however, were associated with a high risk of epilepsy and mental illness later in life in a Danish study [1].

Results were presented by Dr Julie Werenberg Dreier (Aarhus University, Denmark). She said previous studies were not large enough to investigate the long-term consequences of recurrent febrile seizures. In a cohort of 2.1 million children born between 1977 and 2011, a total of 75,593 children (3.6%) were diagnosed with a first febrile seizure between 1977 and 2016. The risk of recurrent febrile seizures was 22.7% after the first febrile seizure, 35.6% after the second febrile seizure, and 43.5% after the third febrile seizure. At 3 years of age, about 90% of all the children with febrile seizures will have presented, according to Dr Werenberg Dreier. She added that the risk of epilepsy increased progressively with the number of admissions with febrile seizures. The 30-year cumulative risk of epilepsy and psychiatric disorders in children who had three or more febrile seizures was 15.8% and 29.1%, respectively. At birth, the 30-year cumulative risk is 2.2% and 17.2%, respectively. Mortality was increased among children with recurrent febrile seizures, but only in those who later developed epilepsy.

  1. Werenberg Dreier J, et al. EAN 2019, O3219.

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