Type 2 diabetes and epilepsy: what’s the link?

  • Lu CL & al.
  • Diabetes Res Clin Pract
  • 31 Mar 2018

  • from Sarfaroj Khan
  • Clinical Summaries
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Takeaway

  • Risk for epilepsy is higher among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM); severe hypoglycaemia (SH) may increase the risk of epilepsy, and that T2DM may increase the risk independent of SH.

Why this matters

  • Evidence regarding the association of diabetes with epilepsy are mainly from studies of type 1 diabetes; little is known about the risk of epilepsy in association with T2DM.
  • As T2DM population is increasing, especially in the aging societies worldwide, the increasing number and greater disease burden of epilepsy can be expected.

Study design

  • Cohort study of 751,792 patients with T2DM and 824,253 matched control patients from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance research database.
  • Patients were followed till the incidence of epilepsy or end of 2011.
  • Funding: Ministry of Science and Technology.

Key results

  • Over a 10-year follow-up, a higher incidence rate of epilepsy was reported in patients with T2DM vs control patients (35.0 vs 21.9 per 10,000 person-years).
  • Incidence of epilepsy was more common among patients with T2DM (n=15,385) vs control patients (n=11,131).
  • After adjustment for confounders, patients with T2DM showed significantly higher risk for epilepsy (aHR, 1.50; 95% CI, 1.46-1.54) vs control patients.
  • Risk for epilepsy was significantly high among patients with T2DM and SH (aHR, 2.70; 95% CI, 2.56-2.85), followed by control patients with SH (aHR, 2.22; 95% CI, 1.76-2.81) and T2DM without SH (aHR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.40-1.47).

Limitations

  • Risk for bias.
  • Chance of disease misclassification.