Mortality in children with epilepsy: Cohort study using the clinical practice research datalink

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Abstract / Description of output

Objective: To estimate Mortality Rate (MR) in UK children with epilepsy (CWE) compared to children without epilepsy (CWOE), describe causes of death, determine Mortality Rate Ratios (MRRs) for cause-specific mortality, and to analyse the contribution of co-morbidities (respiratory disease, neoplasm, and congenital disorders) to mortality rate.

Method: Retrospective cohort study of children born between 1998 and 2017, using linked data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink Gold (Set 18). Epilepsy diagnoses were identified using previously validated codes. Causes of death were defined as natural or non-natural. Epilepsy-related deaths in CWE were those where underlying or contributing cause of death was epilepsy, status epilepticus, seizures, ill-defined/unknown cause or sudden death. We used Cox proportional hazard analysis to investigate associations of epilepsy and mortality.

Results: There were 1,191,304 children followed for 13,994,916 person-years (median: 12) if which 9665 (0.8%) had epilepsy. Amongst CWE, 3.4% died. MR of CWE was 4.1 (95%CI 3.7-4.6)/1,000 person-years. CWE had an increased adjusted all-cause mortality (MRR 50.9,95%CI 44.8-57.7) compared to CWOE. Amongst the 330 deaths in CWE, 323 (98%) were natural, 7 (2%) non-natural, 80 (24%) epilepsy-related. MRR of non-natural deaths was 2.09 (95%CI 0.92,4.74, p=0.08).

Amongst CWE, 3.4% died during the study period. All-cause mortality rate in CWE was 4/1,000 person-years representing a fifty-fold increased mortality risk, after taking into account sex and socioeconomic status, compared to similarly aged children who did not have epilepsy. Causes of death mostly were not seizure-related. Non-natural death in CWE was uncommon.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-82
JournalSeizure - European Journal of Epilepsy
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2023


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