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Cardiovascular fitness and later risk of epilepsy A Swedish population-based cohort study

Journal article
Authors Jenny Nyberg
Maria A I Åberg
Kjell Torén
Michael Nilsson
Elinor Ben-Menachem
Hans-Georg Kuhn
Published in Neurology
Volume 81
Issue 12
Pages 1051-1057
ISSN 0028-3878
Publication year 2013
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation
Institute of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine
Pages 1051-1057
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182a4...
Keywords PHYSICAL-EXERCISE, KINDLING DEVELOPMENT, ADULTHOOD, CHILDHOOD, HEALTH, RATS, SUSCEPTIBILITY, ADOLESCENCE, COMORBIDITY, DEPRESSION, RSGREN L, 1992, EPILEPSIA, V33, P450
Subject categories Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems, Neurosciences

Abstract

Objective: To analyze the associations between cardiovascular fitness at age 18 years and future risk of epilepsy. Methods: Population-based cohort study of Swedish male conscripts (n = 1,173,079) born in 1950-1987, who were followed for up to 40 years. Data on cardiovascular fitness were collected during conscription exams and linked with hospital registers to calculate later risk of epilepsy using Cox proportional hazard models controlling for several confounders, including familial factors. Results: Epilepsy was recorded in 6,796 individuals during the follow-up time. In fully adjusted models, low and medium cardiovascular fitness (compared with high) at age 18 years was associated with increased risk of future epilepsy (hazard ratio 1.79, 95% confidence interval 1.57-2.03; and hazard ratio 1.36, 95% confidence interval 1.27-1.45, respectively). The associations changed only marginally after adjustment for familial influences and prior severe traumatic brain injury, cerebrovascular disease, or diabetes. Conclusions: Low cardiovascular fitness early in life is associated with an increased risk of epilepsy later in adulthood. These results agree with previous results from animal models. We propose that behaviors that increase cardiovascular fitness may act as positive disease-modifiers for the development of epilepsy.

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