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J Child Neurol. 2010 Apr;25(4):441-7. doi: 10.1177/0883073809348355. Epub 2009 Dec 18.

Increased risk of death among children with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and infantile spasms.

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National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.


The magnitude and causes of death among a cohort of children with epilepsy were determined. A follow-up study with a population-based cohort of 10-year-old children in the metropolitan Atlanta area with epilepsy was conducted. The National Death Index and linkage to State of Georgia death certificates were used to identify deaths. The authors estimated the expected numbers of deaths by applying mortality rates adjusted by age, race, and sex for the entire state of Georgia to the population for the follow-up period. Among the 688 children who were in the final epilepsy cohort, 64 deaths occurred; 20.6 deaths were expected (mortality ratio adjusted for age, race, and sex = 3.11). The mortality ratios for children with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and infantile spasms were 13.92 and 11.91, respectively. Children and adolescents with epilepsy, especially those with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or infantile spasms, have an increased risk of death.

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