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Avoidable epilepsy-related mortality remains high

Presented by
Mr Gashirai K Mbizvo, The University of Edinburgh
EAN 2020
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.

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


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