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Epilepsy mortality in Scotland 'not reducing' as study finds hundreds of avoidable deaths

Campaigners have called for a change in how epilepsy services are delivered after "alarming" new research revealed that nearly 80% cent of deaths in young adults could have been avoided.

It comes as researchers behind the first ever national review into deaths linked to the condition warned that "little has improved in epilepsy care" despite previous findings of premature mortality.

They describe the situation as a "major public health problem in Scotland", adding that deaths "are not reducing, people are dying young, and many deaths are potentially avoidable”.

In particular, the Edinburgh University team found that adults aged 16 to 24 were five times more likely to die compared to the general population, a problem they said may be linked to the "vulnerable period of transition from paediatric to adult care".

Overall, for adults with epilepsy aged 16 to 54, the mortality rate was more than double that for the age group as a whole, with as many as 76% of these deaths potentially preventable and the majority occurring among patients from the most deprived areas.

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Source: The Herald, 11 November 2021


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