Regular Article| Volume 9, ISSUE 8, P595-597, December 2000

Physically traumatic events in patients with epilepsy compared with non-epileptic subjects

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      To determine the incidence of traumatic events among epileptic patients compared with non-epileptic individuals, we distributed a questionnaire on physically traumatic events occurring during the preceding three months to consecutive epileptic patients and to age- and sex-matched controls. There were 145 epileptic patients , 121 with seizures (age 36 ± 15 y, 60 males) and 24 who were seizure free during this period (age 39 ± 17 y, 13 males), and 145 controls (age 36 ± 15 y, 73 males). There was no significant difference in the duration of epilepsy between the two groups of patients with epilepsy. Traumatic events (n= 27, three of them unrelated to seizure) were most common in patients with seizures, followed by controls (n= 20), and absent in seizure-free patients (P< 0.001). Patients with epilepsy most commonly injured the head while the extremities were more usually involved in controls. Patients with epilepsy had significantly more traumatic events at home, whereas controls underwent most traumatic events at work and in public areas. There was no significant difference in the type and severity of trauma between the two groups. We conclude that physically traumatic events not related to seizures are fewer among patients with epilepsy with and without seizures compared with controls, probably because of increased cautiousness.




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