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Functional neurological deficit but not epilepsy alone increased the risk of death in childhood epilepsy
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 QUESTION: What are the risk factors for, and frequency of, all cause mortality in children with epilepsy?

Design

Inception cohort of children who developed epilepsy between 1977 and 1985 and were followed up for ≤22.5 years.

Setting

Nova Scotia, Canada.

Patients

692 children (50% girls) who developed epilepsy (≥2 unprovoked seizures) between 1977 and 1985 in Nova Scotia. Exclusion criteria included acute provoking factors for seizures, evidence of progressive neurological disease, and children who had had only neonatal seizures, unless the seizures had stopped by the time of neonatal discharge from hospital and later recurred without provocation.

Assessment of prognostic factors

In 1999, names and birth dates of the cohort were linked to the Nova Scotia provincial death and marriage registries (Division of Vital Statistics). For women >15 years of age, the marriage registry was checked to ascertain whether the names had been changed by marriage, and the marriage name was …

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