Epilepsy tied to severe hypoglycemia in type 2 diabetes
Adults with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk for epilepsy, especially in the presence of severe hypoglycemia, compared with adults without type 2 diabetes, according to findings published in Diabetes Research & Clinical Practice.
Chung-Yi Lu, PhD, professor in the department and graduate Institute of Public Health at the College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan, and colleagues evaluated data from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance claims on 751,792 adults with type 2 diabetes (mean age, 59.51 years; 51% women) and 824,253 matched controls (mean age, 59.47 years; 51% women) identified between 2002 and 2003 to determine the potential link between type 2 diabetes and epilepsy and the role that severe hypoglycemia may play in the relationship. Participants were followed until the end of 2011 or first incidence of epilepsy.
Epilepsy developed in 15,385 participants with type 2 diabetes for an incidence rate of 35 per 10,000-person years and 11,131 controls for an incident rate of 21.9 per 10,000-person years over a median follow-up of 6.8 years. The risk for epilepsy was significantly increased with type 2 diabetes after controlling for potential confounders, including severe hypoglycemia (aHR = 1.5; 95% Ci, 1.46-1.54). Among participants with type 2 diabetes, the risk for epilepsy was higher in women compared with men (aHR, 1.55 vs. 1.46). Participants with type 2 diabetes who were younger than 65 years also had a higher risk for epilepsy compared with those who were older.
The risk for epilepsy was greater among participants with type 2 diabetes and severe hypoglycemia (aHR = 2.7; 95% CI, 2.56-2.85), controls with severe hypoglycemia (aHR = 2.22; 95% CI, 1.75-2.81) and participants with type 2 diabetes without severe hypoglycemia (aHR = 1.44; 95% CI, 1.4-1.47) compared with controls without severe hypoglycemia.
“As the population of type 2 diabetes is increasing, especially in the aging societies worldwide, the increasing number and greater disease burden of epilepsy can be expected,” the researchers wrote. “Improvement in glycemic control strategies that managed to reduce the incidence of hypoglycemia may thus reduce the incidence of epilepsy and epilepsy-related death in people with type 2 diabetes. More studies are needed to examine whether our findings can be replicated and to improve our understandings about the causal relationship, if any, and the possible pathways between type 2 diabetes and incidence of epilepsy.” – by Amber Cox
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.