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Epilepsy Behav. 2008 Aug;13(2):307-15. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2008.04.003. Epub 2008 May 19.

Exercise, diet, health behaviors, and risk factors among persons with epilepsy based on the California Health Interview Survey, 2005.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.


Based on the 2005 California Health Interview Survey, persons with a history of epilepsy report lower educational attainment, lower annual income, and poorer health status, similar to other state-based epidemiological surveys. Previous studies have found persons with epilepsy exercise less and smoke more than the nonepilepsy population. The medical literature has also shown that antiepileptic drugs may cause nutritional deficiencies. Persons with a history of epilepsy in the 2005 CHIS report they walk more for transportation, drink more soda, and eat less salad than the nonepilepsy population. Exercise and dietary behaviors at recommended levels have been found to reduce mortality from many comorbid conditions such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, depression, anxiety, and osteoporosis for which persons with epilepsy are at increased risk. Health professionals in the epilepsy field should step up their efforts to engage patients in health promotion, especially in the areas of exercise, diet, and smoking cessation.

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