October 3, 2019

Epilepsy and Lifestyle Behaviors Related to Bone Health

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Objective: Adults aged 50 years and older with epilepsy face an increased risk of fracture associated both with age and with the use of antiepileptic drugs. Lifestyle behaviors, such as physical activity and calcium and vitamin D intake, have been found to be beneficial to bone health. The aim of this study is to investigate these osteoprotective behaviors in people aged 50 years and older with and without epilepsy.

Methods: In 2010, the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS), a cross-sectional survey that collects health-related data nationwide, included a subset of questions related to epilepsy along with the standard items on physical activity, nutrition, and sun exposure. Data on osteoprotective behaviors were extracted and analyzed for adults aged 50 years and older.

Results: There were no significant findings related to calcium and vitamin D intake as measured by food choices and sun exposure survey items. People with epilepsy participated in physical activity significantly less often and for significantly shorter duration than people without epilepsy. Significantly fewer people with epilepsy reported intending to increase exercise in the next 12 months as compared to those without epilepsy.

Significance: Although adults aged 50 years and older with epilepsy face an increased risk of fracture as compared to those without epilepsy, they do not engage in a higher level of osteoprotective behaviors. In fact, adults with epilepsy are less physically active and report less intention to exercise than adults without epilepsy.

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