The study found that women with epilepsy are many times more likely to experience complications from childbirth.
A new study has come to some shocking conclusions about those suffering from epilepsy: if you have it, you are far, far more likely to die suddenly from childbirth.
Researchers found that women with epilepsy have a death rate of 80 per 100,000 pregnancies, compared to just six per 100,000 for those who don’t have the condition, according to a Business Insider report. The study was published in JAMA Neurology by lead author Sarah macDonald from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a team of researchers.
Women who have epilepsy should therefore be given more medical attention during a pregnancy, researchers wrote.
The study examined about 4.2 million delivery-rated discharges and 14,151 epileptic pregnant women. In addition to the higher rate of death, women with epilepsy are also at a higher risk of stillbirth, pre-term labor, and pre-eclampsia, according to the report.
But there is much research that will need to be done on the issue. For one thing, researchers don’t have data points that would indicate the ultimate causes of death for epileptic sufferers that die in childbirth. Authors indicated that they want more research to be done on the subject to better understand the underlying causes of epilepsy and what makes it so much more dangerous for epileptics to give birth.
Epilepsy isn’t a well-understood disease. Scientists don’t ultimately know what causes it in most cases, although it has been linked to brain injury, strokes, and drugs. It is a neurological disorder that often results in seizures, or excessive and abnormal brain activity. These seizures can either be brief and undetectable, or long and severe, with violent shaking in some cases. Recurring seizures are typical in those who have epilepsy.