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Neurology. 2002 Feb 26;58(4):537-41.

Long-term mortality after a first episode of status epilepticus.

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  • 1Gertrude H. Sergievsky Center, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.



To evaluate long-term mortality among people with status epilepticus (SE).


The authors performed a population-based retrospective cohort study to determine long-term mortality after SE. Between January 1, 1965, and December 31, 1984, all first episodes of SE receiving medical attention were ascertained through the Rochester Epidemiology Project Records-Linkage System. Cases surviving the first 30 days (n = 145) were followed until death or study termination (February 1996).


At 10 years, cumulative mortality among 30-day survivors was 43%. The standardized mortality ratio (SMR) at 10 years was 2.8 (95% CI, 2.1-3.5). The mortality rate of those with idiopathic/cryptogenic SE was not increased (SMR = 1.1; 95% CI, 0.5-2.3). The following characteristics of SE increased long-term risk for mortality: SE > or = 24 hours in duration vs. SE < 2 hours (relative risk [RR] = 2.3; 95% CI, 1.1-5.1); acute symptomatic etiology vs idiopathic/cryptogenic etiology (RR = 2.2; 95% CI, 1.0-5.1) SE; myoclonic SE vs generalized convulsive SE (RR = 4.0; 95% CI, 1.3-13).


Forty percent of subjects who survived the first 30 days after an incident episode of SE die within the next 10 years. The long-term mortality rate was threefold that of the general population over the same time period. The long-term mortality rate at 10 years was worse for those with myoclonic SE, for those who presented with SE lasting more than 24 hours, and for those with acute symptomatic SE. The long-term mortality rate was not altered in those with idiopathic/cryptogenic SE. We conclude that SE alone does not modify long-term mortality.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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