October 30, 2020

Long-Term Seizure, Comorbidity and Socioeconomic Outcomes of Patients With Convulsive Epilepsy in Rural West China

Abstract, originally published in Epilepsy Res.

Purpose: This study aimed to investigate the long-term outcomes of patients with convulsive epilepsy in rural West China and to explore potential related factors.

Methods: Patients who were provided Phenobarbital as a treatment and followed-up monthly were enrolled from the Convulsive Epilepsy Control and Management Program in West China. Their clinical and demographic information were obtained from the program database and a questionnaire. Seizure outcomes, comorbidities, annual income, marital status, employment and quality of life (QOL) were evaluated as long-term outcomes. Logistic regression was used to analyze the related factors.

Results: Of 473 eligible patients with a median follow-up time of nearly 7 years, 312 (66 %) had one-year terminal remission. A total of 320 (67.7 %) patients had a low annual income (<5000 Yuan), and 198 (41.9 %) patients reported a comorbidity. Among 460 patients of marriageable age, 137 (29.8 %) were unmarried. 60.4 % (333) patients reported improved QOL. Time of follow-up, seizure frequency during early treatment, compliance, annual cost for epilepsy treatment and annual income were related to the seizure outcome. Baseline seizure frequency was associated with comorbidities. Sex, annual cost for epilepsy treatment and seizure outcomes were associated with annual income. Age, sex and age at onset were correlated with current marital status. Compliance and taking traditional Chinese medicine were associated with QOL.

Conclusion: The prognosis of epilepsy goes beyond being seizure-free. Comorbidities, income and marriage outcomes in resource-poor areas are less promising. Systematic management considering prognosis-related factors for epilepsy by a collaboration of health providers and society is needed.