Studies on accidents at work in people with epilepsy are scarce and the evidence that epilepsy carries an increased risk of accidents at work is mostly anecdotal. The present survey is a multicentre prospective cohort study of everyday life risks recently conducted in eight European countries (Estonia, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Slovenia and United Kingdom) comparing referral children and adults with epilepsy to age- and sex-matched non-epileptic controls. In this context, every accident occurring during work over a 1-3 year follow-up was prospectively reported by patients and controls. Six hundred and thirty-one adult patients with epilepsy and 592 controls from this cohort have been studied here. Each patient and his/her control received a diary to record any accident or illness, with severity, circumstances, causes, consequences (including days off-work) and (for the cases) the possible relation to a seizure. A slightly higher number of unskilled workers were present among patients with epilepsy than in controls. Twenty-two patients with epilepsy and nine controls reported accidents during work (p <0.05). Only two cases reported seizure-related accidents. In both groups the injuries were mild (only one requiring hospitalization) and caused abstention from work to the same extent. In patients with epilepsy, the risk of accidents was unaffected by seizure type and frequency. This study confirms that patients with epilepsy are at higher risk of accidents compared to the general population. However, injuries provoked by work accidents are generally mild and unrelated to seizures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health