Socioeconomic Status in Adulthood of Children With and Without a history of seizures: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Paolo Mazzone, Christopher J Weir, Jacqueline Stephen, Sohinee Bhattacharya, Richard Chin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Objective: Compare adulthood socioeconomic status for children with and without a history of seizures.
Methods: Retrospective cohort study using Aberdeen Children of the Nineteen Fifties (ACONF) data comprising children born 1950-1956 attending primary school 1962-1964, with follow-up data collected in 2001. Adulthood socioeconomic status was based on registrar general measure of occupational social class and categorised as high or low. We adjusted for potentially confounding variables including childhood socioeconomic status, behavioural issues (Rutter A/B scores), biological sex, school test scores, educational attainment, parental engagement with education, peer-status in school, and alcohol use in adulthood. A multivariate binary logistic regression was performed to estimate the adjusted association between children with a history of seizures of any type (for example febrile seizures, or provoked seizures of any other etiology or seizures in the context of epilepsy) or severity and adult socioeconomic status. Multiple imputation using the Monte-Carlo-Markov-Chain method accounted for missing data.
Results: Pooled estimates (N=2,208) comparing children with a history of seizures (n=81) and children without a history of seizures (n=2,127) found no differences between these cohorts in terms of adulthood socioeconomic status in both unadjusted (Odds Ratio (OR) 1.45 [95% CI 0.71-2.96], p=0.31) and adjusted (1.02 [0.46, 2.24], p=0.96) analyses. Compared to males, females were at increased odds of having a lower socioeconomic status in adulthood (1.56 [1.13-2.17], p=0.01).Compared to those with low educational attainment, those with moderate (0.32 [0.21, 0.48], p<0.001) and high (0.12 [0.07, 0.20], p<0.001) educational attainment were at reduced odds of having a lower socioeconomic status in adulthood.
Conclusion: Cognitive problems in childhood (using educational attainment and scores on primary school tests proxy markers for cognition) rather than a history of seizures per se, were associated with lower SES in a population of adults born 1950-56 in Aberdeen. This relationship may be different depending on the time in history and nation/region of study. Given the changes in health, education and social support in the management of children with seizures over time, it would be of interest to investigate outcomes in a contemporary cohort. Such studies should ideally have validated diagnoses of seizures, details on seizure characteristics such as seizure type and severity, and a large sample size using national data.

Epilepsy, seizures, childhood, socioeconomic status, epidemiology. 
Original languageEnglish
Article number109705
JournalEpilepsy & Behavior
Early online date29 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Childhood
  • Epidemiology
  • Epilepsy
  • Seizures
  • Socioeconomic status


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