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People with epilepsy "at greater risk of other conditions"

15 Oct 2002

People with epilepsy are more likely to have a range of other conditions or diseases than the general public, according to a study presented at the Fifth European Congress on Epileptology in Madrid.

The researchers, led by Dr. Thanasis Gaitatzis from the Institute of Neurology at University College London, looked at data from over 1.3 million people in the UK, including 7,000 people with epilepsy.

In children with epilepsy under the age of 16, the researchers found that they were four times more likely to have endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases and four times more likely to have mental health issues.

In the age group 16-64, congenital anomalies, mental and haematological (blood) disorders were around twice as prevalent than in the general population, while in people aged over 64 with epilepsy, rates of haematological disorders were higher and mental health issues were twice as common than in the wider public.

The study authors called upon doctors to ensure that their patients with epilepsy were aware of their other health needs.