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Functional neurological deficit increased the risk of death in childhood epilepsy

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QUESTION: What are the risk factors for, and frequency of, all cause mortality in children with epilepsy?


Inception cohort of children who developed epilepsy between 1977 and 1985 and were followed up for ≤22.5 years.


Nova Scotia, Canada.


692 children (50% girls) who developed epilepsy (first 2 unprovoked seizures) between 1977 and 1985 (age range 28 d to 16 y). Exclusion criteria included provoking factors for seizures and evidence of progressive neurological disease.

Assessment of prognostic factors

In 1999, names and birth dates of the cohort were linked to the Nova Scotia provincial death and marriage registries (Division of Vital Statistics). For women >15 years of age, the marriage registry was checked to ascertain whether the names had been changed by marriage, and the marriage name was also checked against the death registry. Death certificates, necropsy …

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  • For correspondence: Dr C S Camfield, Division of Child Neurology, IWK Health Centre, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 3G9, Canada.

  • Source of funding: no external funding.