Which child will have a febrile seizure?

Am J Dis Child. 1993 Jan;147(1):35-9. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.1993.02160250037013.


Objective: To identify risk factors predictive of a first febrile seizure.

Design: Case-control study.

Setting: Regional referral pediatric hospital emergency department.

Patients: Seventy-five patients aged 6 months to 4 years presenting with a first febrile seizure were age-matched to two febrile and two afebrile noninfectious controls who had never had a seizure.

Methods: Telephone interview of parents.

Main outcome measures: Risk factors assessed included family history of febrile or afebrile seizures, neurodevelopmental abnormality, and child-care arrangement. Analysis was done by matched case-control and logistic regression.

Results: Factors associated with a significant increase in risk of a first febrile seizure were febrile seizures in first-degree relative (odds ratio [OR], 4.5) or second-degree relative (OR, 3.5); neonatal discharge at 28 days or later (OR, 5.6); parental report of "slow" development (OR, 4.9); and day-care attendance (OR, 3.1). For children with two risk factors (an estimated 3% of the population), the risk of developing febrile seizures is approximately 28% (assuming a population incidence of febrile seizures of 4%).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child Day Care Centers / statistics & numerical data
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developmental Disabilities / complications
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Hospitals, Pediatric
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Logistic Models
  • Matched-Pair Analysis
  • Nova Scotia / epidemiology
  • Patient Discharge / statistics & numerical data
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Risk Factors
  • Seizures, Febrile / epidemiology*
  • Seizures, Febrile / etiology
  • Seizures, Febrile / genetics
  • Surveys and Questionnaires