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Adults taking epilepsy medication 'more likely to be unemployed' - researchers

7 December, 2004

A study published in the journal Epilepsia shows a higher unemployment rate and a lower health-related quality of life amongst people who had epilepsy as a child.

Researchers from the University of Turku
revisited a group of 99 adults, originally from a group of 245
childhood epilepsy patients. Sixty-seven per cent were in remission and
no longer taking medication whilst 14 per cent were still taking
anti-epileptic drugs (AED).

The
study found that the people still taking AEDs had a higher rate of
unemployment and lower socio-economic status, whilst those no longer
taking AEDs had similar levels of unemployment and status to the
general population. Both groups, however, had lower rates of marriage
and less children than the general population. The researchers noted
that the differences in employment and socio-economic status are not
attributable to differences in educational levels.

Lead researcher Matti Sillanpää commented:

"Strikingly,
in self reports, the health-related quality of life was not determined
by good or bad psychosocial function or having, or not having,
seizures, but rather by whether or not they were taking long-term
anti-epileptic drug therapy.'