March 4, 2021

Physical and Mental Health Comorbidities of Patients With Epilepsy in Germany: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Abstract, originally published in Epilepsy & Behavior

Aims: The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of physical and psychological comorbidities in patients with epilepsy in Germany in order to better understand the complex clinical picture and its consequences.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study included adult individuals with a diagnosis of epilepsy between January 2018 and December 2018 (index date). Patients with epilepsy were matched 1:1 with patients without epilepsy by age, sex, and physician. The study outcomes included the associations between epilepsy and different physical and mental disorders documented within 365 days after the index date as well as multi-morbidity defined as at least two, three, four, and five different diagnoses. The present study used multivariate logistic regression models with all study disorders as dependent variables and epilepsy as an impact variable.

Results: After 1:1 matching, the present study included 7942 patients with and 7942 patients without epilepsy (mean age: 58.0 years; 49.7% female). Epilepsy was significantly positively associated with nine disorders, and the strongest associations were with mental retardation (Odds Ratio (OR): 21.11 (95% Confidence Intervals (CI): 12.52-35.59)), cerebrovascular diseases (OR: 3.14 (95% CI: 2.80-3.55)), and dementia (OR: 1.72 (95% CI: 1.47-2.01)). Epilepsy was associated with significantly increased odds of multi-morbidity.

Conclusion: In summary, individuals with epilepsy have an increased prevalence of comorbidities that increase with age. Further research should be undertaken in this area, including the etiology of comorbidities.

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