May 17, 2021

Seizures and Status Epilepticus May Be Risk Factor for Cardiac Arrhythmia or Cardiac Arrest Across Multiple Time Frames

Abstract, originally published in Epilepsy & Behavior

Objective: To determine if Emergency Department (ED) or inpatient encounters for epilepsy or status epilepticus are associated with increased odds of cardiac arrhythmia or cardiac arrest over successively longer time frames.

Methods: The State Inpatient and ED Databases (from New York, Florida, and California) are statewide datasets containing data on 97% of hospitalizations and ED encounters from these states. In this retrospective, case-crossover study, we used International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes to identify index cardiac arrhythmia encounters. Exposures were inpatient or ED encounters for epilepsy or status epilepticus. The case-crossover analysis tested whether an epilepsy or status epilepticus encounter within various case periods (1, 3, 7, 30, 60, 90, and 180 days prior to index encounter) was associated with subsequent ED or inpatient encounter for cardiac arrhythmia, as compared to control periods of equal length one year prior.

Results: The odds ratio (OR) for cardiac arrhythmia after an epilepsy encounter was significant at all time intervals (OR range 2.37-3.36), and highest at 1 day after epilepsy encounter (OR 3.63, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.66-7.93, p = 0.0013). The OR after status epilepticus was significant at 7- to 180-day intervals (OR range 2.25-2.74), and highest at 60 days (OR 2.74, CI 2.09-3.61, p < 0.0001).

Significance: Epilepsy and status epilepticus events are associated with increased odds of subsequent cardiac arrhythmia or cardiac arrest over multiple chronic timeframes. Increased cardiac surveillance may be warranted to minimize morbidity and mortality in patients with epilepsy.

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