Epilepsy and everyday life risks

Ettore Beghi, Cesare Cornaggia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite its favorable outcome in up to 90% of patients, epilepsy is still considered to carry a higher than normal risk of morbidity and accidents. Knowledge of the everyday life risks (illnesses, accidents) in patients with epilepsy is mostly anecdotal. For these reasons, a multinational cohort study has been started in 9 European countries to investigate the incidence and number of medical events and accidents in children and adults with unprovoked epilepsy (diagnosed in the recruiting centers in the previous 10 years) and in age- and sex-matched controls (relatives or friends). The 2 groups are being followed for at least 12 months. Using patients' diaries, data are being collected regarding the number and type of illnesses and accidents, the number of medical contacts and the actions taken, the number of hospital admissions, and the total number of days off work/school. In a preliminary report on 833 patients and 833 controls, the cases reported slightly less illnesses, medical contacts, and actions taken by doctors. Accidents and related events occurred in similar proportions in the 2 groups. Based on the results of the pilot study, idiopathic, cryptogenic and remote symptomatic epilepsy may be compatible with an at least fairly normal social life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-216
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1997


  • accidents
  • epilepsy
  • illnesses
  • risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Clinical Neurology


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