Department of Economics and Business Economics

Accidental deaths in young people with epilepsy and psychiatric comorbidity-A Danish nationwide cohort study

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DOI

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to investigate the accident-related mortality among people younger than 55 years of age with epilepsy compared with the general population and to study how psychiatric comorbidity influences this risk.

METHODS: This is a population-based cohort study of individuals born in Denmark between 1960 and 2015 (n = 3, 665 616). Persons diagnosed with epilepsy and psychiatric disorders were identified in the Danish National Patient Register and the Danish Central Psychiatric Central Register. We estimated the hazard ratio (HR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of accidental death in people with epilepsy compared with persons without epilepsy.

RESULTS: We identified 61 330 persons (1.7%) diagnosed with epilepsy. Median age at end of follow-up was 27.8 years. In people with epilepsy, 5253 died during follow-up, 480 (9%) of whom died from accidents. Among people without epilepsy, 52 588 died during follow-up, of whom 1280 (2.4%) died from accidents. People with epilepsy had a 3.7-fold (95% CI 3.4-4.1) increased risk of accidental death compared with persons without epilepsy. When we adjusted for psychiatric disorders, the risk remained significantly elevated in people with epilepsy compared to people without epilepsy (adjusted HR [aHR] 2.44, 95% CI 2.22-2.69). When stratifying the analyses on epilepsy and psychiatric disorders, people with epilepsy and psychiatric disorders had an aHR of 4.95 (95% CI 3.82-6.41) when compared with persons without epilepsy and psychiatric disorders.

SIGNIFICANCE: The risk of accidental death was increased in people with epilepsy and was particularly high among people with epilepsy with psychiatric comorbidity. The findings highlight the need for awareness and prevention strategies in people with epilepsy, especially in people with comorbid psychiatric disorders.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEpilepsia
Volume61
Issue3
Pages (from-to)479-488
Number of pages10
ISSN0013-9580
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • ADULTS, CAUSE-SPECIFIC MORTALITY, DISORDERS, INJURIES, RISK, SUICIDE

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