Congenital Heart Defects and Risk of Epilepsy
A Population-Based Cohort Study
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Although neurological morbidity has been consistently described in the congenital heart disease (CHD) population,1 no studies to date have examined the long-term risk of epilepsy in subjects with CHD compared with the general population. Previous studies, which point toward a heightened risk of epilepsy, include a single-center case series without the benefit of a control population and a subsequent population-based case-control study.2,3 Given the known clinical implications of epilepsy in the general population and the unique vulnerabilities of the CHD population, our study aimed to provide the first evaluation with the benefit of complete long-term follow-up to address the hypothesis that CHD is associated with an increased long-term risk of epilepsy.
We used data from population-based registries covering all Danish hospitals to identify subjects born and diagnosed with CHD between 1980 and 2010 (CHD diagnosis before 15 years of age). Using the Danish Civil Registration System, we identified 10 individuals from the general population for each CHD subject, matched on sex and birth year. Follow-up was continued until diagnosis of epilepsy, death, emigration, or end of study (December 2010). We computed cumulative …