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11-02-2016 | Type 1 diabetes | News

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Epilepsy risk may be heightened in type 1 diabetes patients

medwireNews: A population-based study reveals a threefold increased rate of epilepsy diagnosis among patients with type 1 diabetes, after accounting for social deprivation, cerebral palsy, head injury, and learning disability.

The patients and controls were identified in the UK Health Improvement Network database, and their average age was 17.9 years. During an average 5.4 years of follow-up, the rate of epilepsy diagnosis was 132 per 100,000 person–years among 4922 patients with type 1 diabetes and 44 per 100,000 person–years among 19,688 age-matched controls.

The same increased likelihood of an epilepsy diagnosis in patients versus controls was present for patients diagnosed during childhood, report Parth Narendran (University of Birmingham, UK) and study co-authors in Diabetologia.

The researchers observe that the increased epilepsy diagnosis could be partly due to increased healthcare contact for diabetes patients. However, they note their findings are in line with those of a previous study, suggesting “a finding of relevance rather than artefact.”

They therefore advise physicians “to seriously consider epilepsy, alongside hypoglycaemia, in the differential diagnosis of seizure-related disorders in patients with type 1 diabetes.”

By Eleanor McDermid

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2016

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