May 5, 2020

Metabolic Syndrome in People with Epilepsy

Background: Little is known about the association of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and quality of life (QoL) in people with epilepsy (PWE). We evaluate the trends of MetS in PWE across various age groups. We also evaluate the association of MetS and QoL in PWE.

Methods: Clinical and seizure data were collected in 173 people with controlled epilepsy. Physical fitness was assessed by using the six-minute walk test and one-minute step test. Self-reported SF-12 questionnaire, a 12-item, patient-reported survey of patient health, was used to derive physical (PCS) and mental (MCS) component scores.

Results: The average age of the study population was 25.85 ± 9.62 years, and MetS was observed in 91 (52.6%). Obesity was seen in 153 (88.4%). Average distance walked in the six-minute walk test was 385.55 ± 71.52 m. Mean PCS and MCS were 45.95 ± 7.92 and 45.72 ± 10.40, respectively. A greater number of women had MetS (47.6% vs. 62.6%; p = 0.049) and women in the study population had lower high-density lipoprotein (HDL) (44.34 ± 11.60 vs. 38.65 ± 10.13 mm Hg). Except for the variables that define MetS, none of the clinical characteristics were associated with MetS. Across age groups, prevalence of MetS was consistently at 50.0% although prevalence of hypertension showed a linear increase with age. While low HDL was seen highest (61.5%) in individuals less than 20 years age, impaired fasting blood sugar (FBS) was highest in PWE aged > 40 years.

Conclusion: Metabolic syndrome is seen in more than half of people with epilepsy, and this increased prevalence is not associated with the number of antiepileptic medicines. While the prevalence of metabolic syndrome was stable at 50.0% across all age groups, individual components have varying prevalence across age groups hence, suggesting their varied contribution across age groups.

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