Highlights from

EAN 2020

European Academy of Neurology

Virtual 23 - 26 May 2020

Avoidable epilepsy-related mortality remains high

A nationwide population-based study of secular trends in adult epilepsy-related and potentially avoidable mortality in Scotland demonstrated that (avoidable) epilepsy-related deaths (EPRDs) remain common, particularly in young adults [1]. Despite treatment advances, mortality in epilepsy has not been reduced over time.

The national burden of avoidable EPRDs in adults ≥16 years in Scotland was quantified. The study had a retrospective, sequential cross-sectional design. The 2016 Office for National Statistics’ Revised Definition of Avoidable Mortality Causes was used to identify potentially avoidable EPRDs.

International Classification of Disease (ICD-10) G40-41-coded causes of death had the highest positive predictive values for epilepsy diagnosis, at 93%. G40-41 captured 2,149 EPRDs, 1,276 (59%) of which had ≥1 seizure-/epilepsy-related hospital admission during 2009–2016. However, only 516 (24%) of these patients visited a neurology clinic during this period. Mortality rates per 100,000 ranged between 6.8 (95% CI 6.0–7.6) in 2009 and 9.1 (95% CI 8.2–9.9) in 2015. Standardised mortality ratios were higher in adults ≤55 years, peaking at 6.0 (95% CI 2.3–9.7) between ages 16-24 years. Of young adult EPRDs, 78% were deemed potentially avoidable. The most common mechanisms of death were sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, aspiration pneumonia, cardiac arrest, alcohol use, and congenital malformation.

Keywords: Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy; Mortality

  1. Mbizvo G, et al. Abstract O3007, EAN 2020.

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