Epilepsy-associated long-term mortality after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage

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To elucidate the epilepsy-associated causes of death and subsequent excess long-term mortality among 12-month survivors of subarachnoid hemorrhage from saccular intracranial aneurysm (SIA-SAH).


The Kuopio SIA Database (kuopioneurosurgery.fi) includes all SIA-SAH patients admitted to the Kuopio University Hospital from its defined catchment population in Eastern Finland. The study cohort consists of 779 patients, admitted from 1995 to 2007, who were alive at 12 months after SIA-SAH. Their use of reimbursable antiepileptic drugs and the causes of death (ICD-10) were fused from the Finnish national registries from 1994 to 2014.


The 779 12-month survivors were followed up until death (n = 197) or December 31, 2014, a median of 12.0 years after SIA-SAH. Epilepsy had been diagnosed in 121 (15%) patients after SIA-SAH, and 34/121 (28%) had died at the end of follow-up, with epilepsy as the immediate cause of death in 7/34 (21%). In the 779 patients alive at 12 months after SIA-SAH, epilepsy was an independent risk factor for mortality (hazard ratio 1.8, 95% confidence interval 1.1–3.0).


Comorbid epilepsy in 12-month survivors of SIA-SAH is associated with increased risk of death in long-term follow-up. Survivors of SIA-SAH require long-term dedicated follow-up, including identification and effective treatment of comorbid epilepsy to prevent avoidable deaths.

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