Injuries in people with self-reported epilepsy: A population-based study

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Abstract

Purpose

To identify the prevalence of injuries in people with epilepsy (PWE) in the general population.

Method

We examined the prevalence of injuries obtained through the previously validated, door-to-door Canadian Community Health Survey (CHS) (n = 130,882). The 12-month weighted prevalence of injuries serious enough to limit normal activities was calculated for people with epilepsy and for the general population. Among those reporting injuries, variables of interest were compared in PWE and in the general population using risk ratios (RR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI95).

Results

The 12-month weighted prevalence of injuries was not different in PWE (14.9%) and in the general population (13.3%) (RR: 1.1, CI95: 0.90–1.3). Among individuals reporting injuries, the only significant differences were a lower frequency of sports-related injuries in PWE (RR: 0.7, CI95: 0.4–0.9), and a three-times higher frequency of hospitalization following injuries in PWE (RR: 3.0, CI95: 1.3–4.7). Orthopedic injuries were the most frequent type of injury in both groups, but the differences were not significant. Although there were some trends, no significant differences between PWE and the general population were seen with regard to place where injury occurred, mechanism of injury, and number of injuries.

Conclusions

The overall rate of injuries limiting activities did not differ between PWE and the general population. There was a higher rate of injury-related hospital admission in PWE, which could reflect that hospitalization is related to seizures and to comorbidities, and not injuries alone, or a more cautious attitude of clinicians towards injuries in PWE.

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