Aim: The goal of this case-control study was to identify the significance of certain risk factors for epilepsy in Turkey.
Method: A total of 805 cases, aged 1-16 years, followed-up for epilepsy at the Pediatric Neurology Department and a control group consisting of 846 age-matched cases without epilepsy were included in the study. The risk factors examined were gender, neurological impairment, febrile convulsion, head trauma, central nervous system infections, parental consanguinity, family history of epilepsy, prenatal and natal risk and newborn jaundice. Data regarding the investigated epilepsy risk factors were obtained through a questionnaire via personal interviews and the medical records and were assessed using univariate and multivariate analysis.
Result: Univariate analysis showed an increased risk for epilepsy with a history of atypical febrile seizure (21.97-fold), severe and moderate head injury (27.76- and 7.09-fold respectively), CNS infection (4.76-fold), history of epilepsy in first-, second- or third-degree relatives (6.42-, 3.09- and 2.66-fold, respectively), presence of maternal hypertension (4.31-fold), an apgar score < or =6 at any time (7.78-fold) and neonatal jaundice (3.12-fold). Abnormal neurological signs increased the epilepsy risk 5.92 times in univariate analysis and 30.26 times in multivariate analysis.
Conclusion: The most important risk factors for epilepsy in this study were neurological impairment, history of atypical febrile seizures, severe head injury and a low apgar score. Other important risk factors were moderate head trauma and a history of epilepsy in the family.