March 19, 2024

Epilepsy and the Risk of COVID-19-Related Hospitalization and Death

Article published by Wiley Online Library

Researchers found that people with epilepsy may be at an increased risk of severe COVID-19. The study assessed whether people with epilepsy were at higher risk of being hospitalized with, or dying from, COVID-19. Researchers performed a retrospective study using anonymized electronic health records. In this large, population-level study of more than 27,000 people with epilepsy, researchers found that people with epilepsy were more likely to have a COVID-19-related hospitalization or death when compared to controls during the first 15?months of the pandemic in Wales. This means there was an approximately 60% increased chance of hospitalization with COVID and a 33% increased chance of dying with COVID for people with epilepsy when compared to people of the same age, sex, socioeconomic status, and comorbidities. This may be in part due to the increased proportion of people with epilepsy with comorbidities, such as dementia and intellectual disability, that increase the risk of severe COVID-19. Study results may have implications for prioritizing future COVID-19 treatments and vaccinations for people with epilepsy. The study shows the importance of characterizing this risk to inform patients and for future health and care planning.