A case-control study on alcohol and seizures: study design, protocol, and data collection. The ALCE (Alcohol and Epilepsy) Study Group

Ital J Neurol Sci. 1997 Apr;18(2):119-24. doi: 10.1007/BF01999574.


We designed a multicenter case control study to evaluate whether chronic alcoholism and alcohol are risk factors for developing a first generalized tonic-clonic epileptic seizure. Cases were 278 patients (92 women, 186 men), with a first generalized tonic-clonic seizure (either idiopathic or symptomatic), matched to 556 controls for center, sex, age, and weekday of the seizure. Information on risk factors was obtained through a questionnaire. This paper focuses on the study design (selection of cases and choice of controls), the validity of the instruments for data collection, and the strategies of study conduction (interviews, use of proxy respondents). Inter-rater agreement was excellent for drinking status, patterns of drinking, and broad indicators of consumption (yes/no). Agreement was variable for the number of servings/week, but was excellent (r = 0.91) for a summary of daily alcohol intake.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking*
  • Alcoholism / complications*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Epilepsy, Generalized / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Research Design
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires