HCP Live
Contagion LiveCGT LiveNeurology LiveHCP LiveOncology LiveContemporary PediatricsContemporary OBGYNEndocrinology NetworkPractical CardiologyRheumatology Netowrk

Epilepsy and Comorbidities: Clinical and Cost Implications

Persons with epilepsy have a higher prevalence of comorbid conditions-psychiatric disorders in particular-than the general population.


Epilepsy is associated with a number of comorbidities-the most common of which are psychiatric disorders (Table).

This finding, based on a recently published study by Andrew Wilner, MD, and colleagues, may affect how patients with epilepsy are treated and monitored.

In this 5 minute podcast, Dr. Wilner, a neurologist and neurohospitalist associated with Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London, CT, elaborates on key study findings and discusses possible implications for clinical practice.

The key findings from the study:

1. About half the 6621 patients had at least 1 comorbidity.

2. The most common comorbidity was psychiatric.

3. The presence of a single comorbidity approximately tripled the cost of care.

Table. Top 10 Comorbidities for Men and Women with Epilepsy (N=6621)

Psychiatric (15%)Psychatric (16%)
Hyperlipidemia (12%)Hypertension (12%)
Hypertension (12%)Asthma (11%)
Asthma (8%)Hyperlipidemia (11%)
Diabetes (5%)Headache (7%)
Headache (4%)Diabetes (6%)
Cancer (4%)Urinary tract infection (5%)
Coronary artery disease (3%)Hypothyroidism (5%)
Anemia (3%)Anemia (5%)
GERD (3%)Migraine (4%)

Adapted from Wilner et al. Common comorbidities in women and men with epilepsy and the relationshipbetween number of comorbidities and health plan paid costs in 2010.Epilepsy Behav. 2014;32:15-20.