Highlights

  • Around 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy
  • Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diseases globally
  • This chronic neurological disorder accounts for a significant proportion of the world’s disease burden

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High blood pressure linked to epilepsy! Find out if you might be at risk

Hypertension or high blood pressure may increase the risk of epilepsy, according to a new study led by researchers at Boston University.

According to the World Health Organisation, around 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, making it one of the most common neurological diseases globally. This chronic neurological disorder accounts for a significant proportion of the world’s disease burden.

Despite this, a report published in the National Institutes of Health in the United States says that the underlying causes of epilepsy in 32–48% of cases remain unclear.

Also watch: Hypertension: A fatal heart disorder that shows no warning signs in the early stages

Researchers led by the Boston University School of Medicine in the United States conducted a study investigating the link between vascular risk factors and the onset of epilepsy. Researchers used data from the Framingham Heart Study and tracked the health report of 2,986 people who were at least 45 years old. Researchers screened for several risk factors like hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, smoking habits, BMI and history of stroke to underpin a prominent cause of epilepsy.

The researchers found that hypertension had links to an almost 2-fold higher risk of epilepsy. However, the other risk factors had no links to epilepsy. They also found that every 10 mm Hg change in systolic blood pressure was associated with a 17% higher risk of developing epilepsy.

The study concludes to point that this work is observational, so does not confirm that there is a definite direct link. However, it builds on the knowledge base and highlights the importance of lifestyle, regular exercise, and a low salt intake to control blood pressure as an important way of reducing morbidity.

Also watch: Battling moderate hypertension? Exercise should be the first line of defence

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