December 8, 2020

People With Epilepsy at Slightly Increased Risk of More Severe COVID-19 Symptoms, Study Suggests

Abstract, originally published in Epilepsy Today

There is a slightly increased risk of hospital admission and death from COVID-19 in people with epilepsy, according to a new study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

The research, published in October 2020, looked at risk factors for hospital admissions and death from COVID-19 in 6.08 million adults across England. The data were collected between January 24 and April 30.

Among the risk factors were conditions for which people are advised to shield, and conditions moderately associated with increased risk of complications from COVID-19, according to current NHS guidance.

The evidence from the research by Clift and colleagues showed a small increase in risk of hospital admissions and deaths resulting from COVID-19 in both men and women with epilepsy. The risk appears to be slightly higher still in men than in women.

Among the highest risk factors were conditions like Down’s syndrome and sickle cell disease or severe immunodeficiency, as well as treatments like higher grade chemotherapy.

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