Cohort study of forceps delivery and the risk of epilepsy in adulthood

Deirdre J. Murphy, Gillian Libby, Patrick Chien, Stewart Forsyth, Stephen Greene, Andrew Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between forceps delivery and epilepsy in adulthood. Study design We conducted a cohort study of 21,441 births with record linkage to data from the Tayside Medicine Monitoring unit (MEMO) and Scottish morbidity records (SMR1). Results Delivery by forceps was not associated with epilepsy compared with all other deliveries, adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.0 (95 % CI, 0.6-1.8). Epilepsy in adulthood was associated with a family history of epilepsy, adjusted OR 2.4 (95% CI, 1.7-3.2), increasing social deprivation, adjusted OR 1.1 for each Carstairs score (95% CI, 1.0-1.2), and male gender, adjusted OR 1.4 (95% CI, 1.0-1.8). Preterm birth was associated with an increased risk of epilepsy, adjusted OR 2.0 (95% CI, 1.2-3.2) but no other antenatal, intrapartum, or neonatal risk factors were identified. Conclusion These findings do not suggest an association between forceps delivery and epilepsy in adulthood; however, preterm birth may be an important risk factor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-397
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2004


  • Delivery
  • Epilepsy
  • Forceps
  • Population-based study record linkage

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