John Libbey Eurotext

Obesity and its association with generalised epilepsy, idiopathic syndrome, and family history of epilepsy Volume 16, numéro 3, September 2014


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1 Department of Medicine, Division of Neurology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada
2 Department of Neurology, Hospital Pablo Tobón Uribe, Medellín, Colombia
* Correspondence: José F. Téllez Zenteno Department of Medicine, Division of Neurology Royal University Hospital, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 0W8 Canada

Aim. Previous studies support the concept that obesity is a common comorbid condition in patients with epilepsy (PWE). In this study, we present the body mass index (BMI) and data from a survey to assess physical activity in a sample of PWE from an epilepsy clinic. Methods. Between June of 2011 and January of 2013, 100 PWE from an adult epilepsy clinic were included. We obtained BMI, waist circumference, and information regarding physical activity using a standardised questionnaire. Clinical, demographic, electrographic, and imaging parameters were collected from charts. Results. Mean age of patients was 40±14 (18-77) years. The BMI distribution was as follows: 2 patients (2%) underweight, 26 (26%) normal weight, 34 (34%) overweight, 25 (25%) obese, and 13 (13%) with morbid obesity. In our study, obesity was defined as having a BMI ≥30. We found 38 (38%) patients in this range. There was no difference in the rate of drug-resistant epilepsy between obese and non-obese patients (55 vs. 55%; p=0.05). Leisure time habit was reported in 82% of obese patients and 79% of patients without obesity. Overall, the most frequent activity was walking (70%). Factors associated with obesity were generalised epilepsy (OR: 2.7, 1.1-6.6; p=0.012), idiopathic syndrome (OR: 2.7, 1.04-7; p=0.018), and family history of epilepsy (OR: 6.1, 1.5-24.2; p=0.002). Conclusion. Our study suggests an association between obesity, idiopathic generalised epilepsy, and family history of epilepsy. Our study shows that PWE are physically active and there is no clear relation between exercise and obesity. We could not identify any association between drug-resistant epilepsy and obesity. Absence of direct comparison with a control non-epileptic population; a cross-sectional design not allowing evaluation of a causal association among variables; and reliance on self-reported physical activity are to be considered as limitations of the present study.