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Type 1 diabetes linked to epilepsy

Children with type 1 diabetes are at increased risk of developing epilepsy, according to research in Diabetologia.

A Taiwanese study enrolled 2,568 children (mean age 11.1 years) and 25,680 matched controls (mean 10.4 years). Incidences of epilepsy were 10.4 and 33.7 per 10,000 person-years for controls and children with type 1 diabetes respectively. After adjusting for confounders, children with type 1 diabetes were 2.84 times more likely to develop epilepsy than controls.

Epilepsy risk was six-fold higher in children with type 1 diabetes than controls less than six years of age (hazard ratio [HR] 6.06), compared to an approximate doubling in children aged six to 11 years (HR 1.86) and at least 12 years (HR 2.47).

The authors suggest that metabolic abnormalities, such as hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia, might damage the CNS. However, the factors underlying the link require further investigation.

(Doi: 10.1007/s00125-016-3929-0).

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