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Cohort study
Rate of epilepsy in people with autism and the rate of autism in people with epilepsy are high
  1. Frank M C Besag
  1. East London Foundation NHS Trust, Bedford, UK
  1. Correspondence to : Professor Frank M C Besag, East London Foundation NHS Trust, 24 Grove Place, Bedford MK40 3JJ, UK; FBesag{at}

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Population-based studies can provide information on the risk of people with autism developing epilepsy. Examination of family members of individuals with epilepsy can also provide a likelihood of a genetic link between autism and epilepsy. Sundelin et al carried out a register-based population study aimed at providing HRs for those with autism (ASD, autism spectrum disorder) developing epilepsy, those with epilepsy having ASD and relatives of people with epilepsy developing ASD.


Cases were identified using the ICD-9 or ICD-10 codes from the Swedish National Patient Register, which includes nationwide inpatient diagnoses from 1987 and, since 2001, hospital-based outpatient care. Siblings, offspring and parents of all participants with epilepsy were identified, with up to five controls matched …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.