Iron deficiency as a risk factor for simple febrile seizures--a case control study

Indian Pediatr. 2012 Jan;49(1):17-9. doi: 10.1007/s13312-012-0008-6. Epub 2011 May 30.


Objective: To study the role of iron deficiency as a risk factor for simple febrile seizures.

Design: Case control study.

Setting: Pediatric department of a tertiary care teaching hospital.

Participants: 154 cases and 154 controls were included in the study. Consecutive cases and concurrent controls were selected. Cases were children of age group 6 months to 3 years presenting with simple febrile seizures. Controls were children of same age group presenting with short febrile illness but without any seizures.

Methods: After informed consent, detailed history was taken and clinical examination done in both cases and controls and blood investigations were done to diagnose iron-deficiency in both cases and controls. Iron deficiency was diagnosed as per WHO criteria (hemoglobin value <11 g%, red cell distribution width of >15% and serum ferritin value <12 ng/mL). Other explanatory variables, which can be the potential confounders were also included in the study and considered for analysis.

Results: Highly significant association was found between iron deficiency and simple febrile seizures in both univariate and multivariate analysis. Crude odds ratio was 5.34 (CI 3.27- 8.73, P<0.001) and adjusted odds ratio in the logistic regression analysis was 4.5 (CI 2.69- 7.53, P <0.001).

Conclusions: Iron deficiency is a significant risk factor for simple febrile seizures in children of age group 6 months to 3 years.

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / blood
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency / complications*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child, Preschool
  • Erythrocyte Indices
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Seizures, Febrile / etiology*