March 4, 2022

Perinatal Adversities and Risk of Epilepsy After Traumatic Brain Injury: A Danish Nationwide Cohort Study

Abstract found in DocWire News

OBJECTIVES: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and perinatal adversities such as low gestational age at birth, low birth weight, low Apgar, and being born small for gestational age are well-established risk factors for epilepsy. We examined whether perinatal adversities modified the risk of epilepsy after TBI in a nationwide cohort study of Danish singletons born from 1982 to 2011.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We categorized perinatal adversities as a composite measure of preterm delivery, low birth weight, low Apgar score, or being born small for gestational age. Cox regression and competing risk regression were used to estimate the risk of epilepsy after TBI according to such perinatal adversities. The study included 1,715,095 singletons (51.1% males). The mean age at end of follow-up was 19.3 years (Interquartile range [IQR] = 12.1-26.3). During follow-up, 85,636 persons (58.2% males) sustained a TBI and 18,064 developed epilepsy (50.7% males), of whom 1329 persons had a preceding TBI.

RESULTS: The hazard ratio (HR) of epilepsy in persons with perinatal adversities was 1.19 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.15-1.24), compared to persons without. The HR of epilepsy in persons with TBI was 2.31 (95% CI 2.18-2.45) compared to persons without TBI, but this risk was not modified by perinatal adversities (p = 0.2460).

CONCLUSIONS: Perinatal adversities and TBI both increased the risk of epilepsy, but the risk of epilepsy after TBI was not modified by these perinatal adversities.