Effect of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning on Epilepsy Development: A Nationwide Population-Based Cohort Study


Study objective: Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning causes central nervous system toxicity resulting in delayed neurologic sequelae. This study aims to evaluate the risk of epilepsy in patients with a history of CO intoxication.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective population-based cohort study using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database and enrolled patients with and without CO poisoning matched for age, sex, and index year in a 1:5 ratio, between 2000 and 2010. Multivariable survival models were used to assess the risk of epilepsy. The primary outcome was newly developed epilepsy after the index date. All patients were followed until a new diagnosis of epilepsy, death, or December 31, 2013. Stratification analyses by age and sex were also conducted.

Results: This study included 8,264 patients with CO poisoning and 41,320 without. Patients with a history of CO poisoning were strongly associated with subsequent epilepsy (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 8.40; 95% confidence interval [CI], 6.48 to 10.88). In the age-stratified analysis, intoxicated patients aged 20 to 39 years had the highest HR (adjusted HR 11.06; 95% CI, 7.17 to 17.08). In the sex-stratified analysis, adjusted HRs for male and female patients were 8.00 (95% CI, 5.86 to 10.92) and 9.53 (95% CI, 5.95 to 15.26), respectively.

Conclusion: Patients with CO poisoning were associated with an increased risk of developing epilepsy compared with those without CO poisoning. This association was more prominent in the young population.

Authors: Yu-Hsiang Meng, Ming-Shun Hsieh, Yu-Chi Chi, Chorng-Kuang How, Pau-Chung Chen, Chia-Ming Chang
; Full Source: Annals of emergency medicine 2023 Feb 14;S0196-0644(22)01315-4. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2022.11.021.