Socioeconomic and occupational risk factors for epilepsy: a nationwide epidemiological study in Sweden

Seizure. 2008 Apr;17(3):254-60. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2007.07.011. Epub 2007 Aug 28.


Objectives: The aim of this study is to investigate associations between hospitalization for epilepsy and two factors: socioeconomic status and occupation.

Design and setting: A nationwide database was constructed in Sweden by linking the Swedish Census to the Hospital Discharge Register to obtain data on all first-time hospitalizations for epilepsy in adults in Sweden during the study period (1987-2004). Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) were calculated by socioeconomic status and occupation.

Results: A total of 22,638 men and 16,871 women>30 years were hospitalized for epilepsy during the study period. Low education and low income (both men and women) and being an unskilled/skilled worker (only men) was associated with slightly but significantly increased risks. Among men, increased risk was noted for waiters, launderers and dry cleaners, clerical workers, other construction workers, sales agents and drivers. Among women, increased risk was observed among cooks and stewards and administrators and managers.

Conclusions: Socioeconomic status and occupation sometimes carry significantly increased risks of hospital admission for epilepsy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Demography
  • Epilepsy / epidemiology*
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology
  • Epilepsy / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Sweden / epidemiology