AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: The aim of this research was to explore the relationship between incident epilepsy and type 1 diabetes in British participants.
METHODS: Using The Health Improvement Network database, we conducted a retrospective, open-cohort study. Patients who were newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus at the age of ≤40 years were identified and followed-up from 1 January 1990 to 15 September 2015. These patients, identified as not suffering from epilepsy at the time of diagnosis, were randomly matched with up to four individuals without type 1 diabetes mellitus, based on age, sex and participating general practice. A Cox regression analysis was subsequently performed using Townsend deprivation index, cerebral palsy, head injury and learning disabilities as model covariates.
RESULTS: The study population consisted of a total of 24,610 individuals (4922 with type 1 diabetes and 19,688 controls). These individuals were followed up for a mean of 5.4 years (approximately 132,000 person-years of follow up). Patients with type 1 diabetes were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with epilepsy during the observation period compared with controls (crude HR [95% CI]: 3.02 [1.95, 4.69]). The incidence rate was estimated to be 132 and 44 per 100,000 person-years in patients and controls, respectively. This finding persisted after adjusting for model covariates (adjusted HR [95% CI]: 3.01 [1.93, 4.68]) and was also robust to sensitivity analysis, excluding adult-onset type 1 diabetes mellitus.
CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: Patients with type 1 diabetes are at approximately three-times greater risk of developing epilepsy compared with matched controls without type 1 diabetes. This should be considered when investigating seizure-related disorders in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus.
- Type 1 diabetes mellitus