Falls and fractures in patients chronically treated with antiepileptic drugs.
To evaluate fractures and falls in epilepsy patients taking antiepileptic drugs (AED) and to assess their awareness of AED-related bone health, falls, and fracture risk.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in epilepsy patients taking AEDs and in nonepileptic non-AED users. Information on falls and fracture history was collected.
A total of 150 AED users were compared with 506 non-AED users. Users had greater odds of fracture at spine (odds ratio [OR] 3.92; confidence interval [CI] 1.08-14.16; p = 0.037), clavicle (OR 3.75; CI 1.24-11.34; p = 0.019), and ankle sites (OR 2.34; CI 1.01-5.42; p = 0.048), increased odds for osteoporosis (OR 4.62; CI 1.40-15.30; p = 0.012), and fracture occasions (OR 2.64; CI 1.29-5.43; p = 0.008). We estimate that with every year of AED use the odds of fractures increase by 4%-6%, or 40% per decade for any fracture (OR 1.40; CI 1.02-1.91) and 60% for seizure-related fractures (OR 1.63; CI 1.10-2.37). Non-seizure-related fractures (69% of cumulative fractures) occurred more than seizure-related fractures during therapy. Female users, compared to female nonusers, had more non-seizure falls (31% vs 17%, p = 0.027) and multiple falls (18% vs 5%, p = 0.028) in the preceding year. Fewer than 30% of epilepsy patients knew of the association of AED use with increased risk for fractures, decreased bone mineral density, or falls.
Epilepsy patients taking AEDs had a higher risk of fractures, which was highest in those with longer-term AED exposure. Female AED users had a higher prevalence of falls than matched nonusers. Awareness among epilepsy patients regarding risks of falling and fractures was low.
Department of Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria.
SourceNeurology 79:2 2012 Jul 10 pg 145-51
Pub Type(s)Comparative Study
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't