Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Premature Birth May Increase Risk of Epilepsy Later in Life

Being born prematurely may increase your risk of developing epilepsy as an adult, according to a new study published in the October 4, 2011, issue ofNeurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

"We found a strong connection between preterm birth and risk of epilepsy and the risk appears to increase dramatically the earlier the birth occurs during pregnancy," said study author Casey Crump, MD, PhD, of Stanford University in Stanford, California. "More effective prevention of preterm birth is urgently needed to reduce the burden of epilepsy later in life."

The study found adults who were born very preterm (23-31 weeks gestational age) were five times more likely to be hospitalized for epilepsy as an adult compared to those adults who were born full-term (37-42 weeks gestational age). Adults who were born between 32-34 weeks of pregnancy were almost twice as likely to be hospitalized for epilepsy and adults who were born between 35 and 36 weeks were one-and-a-half times as likely to be hospitalized for epilepsy compared to those born full-term. The results remained the same regardless of fetal growth, birth order or related disorders that may be associated with preterm birth.

Read more: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111003161644

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