Cause of death in patients with poststroke epilepsy: Results from a nationwide cohort study.

PloS one

PubMedID: 28380003

Hansen J, ├ůsberg S, Kumlien E, Zelano J. Cause of death in patients with poststroke epilepsy: Results from a nationwide cohort study. PLoS ONE. 2017;12(4):e0174659.
The risk of death is increased for persons with epilepsy. The literature on causes of death in epilepsy is based mainly on cohorts with epilepsy of mixed aetiologies. For clinical purposes and improved understanding of mortality in different epilepsies, more information is needed on mortality in epilepsies of specific causes. In poststroke epilepsy (PSE), seizures occur in a setting of vascular disease and high mortality rates. The extent to which epilepsy contributes to mortality in this patient group is poorly understood. We therefore aimed to describe causes of death (COD) in PSE on a national scale. A previously identified cohort of 7740 patients with epilepsy or seizures after a stroke in 2005-2010 was investigated. A total of 4167 deaths occurred before the end of 2014. The standardized mortality ratio for the study cohort was 3. 56 (95% CI: 3. 45-3. 67). The main underlying causes of death were disorders of the circulatory system (60%) followed by neoplasms (12%). Diseases of the nervous system were the sixth leading underlying COD (3%), and epilepsy or status epilepticus was considered the underlying COD in approximately a similar proportion of cases as neurodegenerative disorders (0. 9% and 1. 1%, respectively). Epilepsy was considered a contributing COD in 14% of cases. Our findings highlight the importance of optimal management of vascular morbidity in patients with PSE. The large proportion of patients with epilepsy as a contributing COD indicate the need of high ambitions also regarding the management of seizures in patients with PSE.