Prevalence of epilepsy/seizures as a comorbidity of neurologic disorders in nursing homes

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Objective: To determine the prevalence of epilepsy/seizure (epi/sz) comorbid with other neurologic disorders in elderly nursing home residents and to examine demographic and regional variability and associations with clinical characteristics. Methods: We studied 5 cross-sectional cohorts of all residents in any Medicare/Medicaid-certified nursing home in the United States on July 15 of each year from 2003 to 2007. Epi/sz was identified by ICD-9 codes (345.xx or 780.39) or check box (Minimum Data Set). Epi/sz prevalence was stable across all years, so only 2007 data were examined further. Logistic regression with generalized estimating equations was used to model cross-sectional prevalence of epi/sz as a function of demographics and neurologic comorbidities of interest, with adjustment for clinical characteristics, including cognitive status, comorbidity burden, medication burden, and activities of daily living. Results: Point prevalence of epi/sz in 2007 was 7.7% (n = 91,372 of N = 1,186,579) differing by geographical region, race/ethnicity, age group, and sex. Neurologic conditions having the highest association with epi/sz were brain tumor (epi/sz prevalence 23.4%-35.2%), head injury (17.9%), hemiplegia (17.7%), and stroke (13.7%). Epi/sz comorbid with stroke or dementia had a strong decreasing association with age (65-74 years had ≈3.8-times higher odds of epi/sz than 85+ years). Activities of daily living, comorbidity burden, and cognition scores were worse in persons with than without epi/sz. Conclusions: The prevalence of epi/sz in the elderly nursing home population is >7-fold higher compared to community-dwelling elderly and is 7 to 30 times higher among those with certain comorbid neurologic conditions. Demographics and clinical characteristics had weaker associations with epi/sz prevalence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)750-757
Number of pages8
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 21 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by grant Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (S-3822; Drs Eberly, Leppik, and Svensden) and the NIH (5R01AG026390; Drs Birnbaum, Eberly, and Leppik) from the National Institute on Aging. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institute on Aging, or the NIH.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Academy of Neurology.


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