Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Current cigarette smokers at increased risk of seizures

Date:
November 20, 2009
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
A recent study determined there is a significant risk of seizure for individuals who currently smoke cigarettes. This is the first prospective study to examine the potential risks associated with cigarette smoking, caffeine intake, and alcohol consumption as they independently relate to epilepsy.

A recent study determined there is a significant risk of seizure for individuals who currently smoke cigarettes. Boston-based researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School also found that long-term, moderate intake of caffeine or alcohol does not increase the chance of having a seizure or developing epilepsy. This is the first prospective study to examine the potential risks associated with cigarette smoking, caffeine intake, and alcohol consumption as they independently relate to epilepsy.

Full findings of this study are currently available online and will appear in the February 2010 issue of Epilepsia, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the International League Against Epilepsy.

Epilepsy is a neurological condition characterized by repeated unprovoked seizures where electrical disturbances in the brain cause sudden, involuntary changes in body movements (convulsions and muscle spasms) and sensory awareness. Approximately 2.5 million Americans are affected by epilepsy with 150,000 new cases diagnosed this year alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC further estimates that epilepsy accounts for $15.5 billion in medical costs and lost earnings. Single seizures or those provoked by alcohol withdrawal or other cause are even more common, occurring in up to 10% of the population.

Barbara A. Dworetzky, M.D., and colleagues used data obtained from the Nurses' Health Study II, a group of 116,608 female registered nurses, aged 25-42 years old who returned mailed questionnaires on their lifestyle and medical history including epilepsy and seizure activity. In the analysis for cigarette smoking, researchers accrued 246 cases and 1,778,307 person-years of follow-up among 116,363 participants. For the analyses of caffeine intake, there were 201 cases and 1,440,850 person-years of follow-up among 105,941 participants, and for the alcohol consumption analyses, 198 cases and 1,427,348 person-years of follow-up among 104,934 participants. The data used in this study were obtained from 1989 through May 31, 2005.

After adjusting for stroke, brain tumor, hypertension and other potential confounding factors, researchers observed a significant association between current cigarette smoking and risk of seizure (relative risk (RR) of 2.60). "Our analysis showed risk of seizure was significantly higher for current smokers, but not related to the amount of cigarettes smoked daily," said Dr. Dworetzky. "It does appear, however, that the number of years of smoking does increase seizure risk." Risk of epilepsy, that is recurrent unprovoked seizures, was modestly elevated with both past (RR -- 1.46) and current smoking (RR -- 1.27), but not statistically significant.

The analysis of caffeine consumption showed that a long-term average intake of ≥ 400 mg of caffeine/day compared with <200 mg/day was not associated with greater risk of seizures or epilepsy (RR -- 0.77 and 0.97 respectively). Researchers also observed no trend of increasing seizure or epilepsy risk with increasing caffeine consumption.

Further results indicate that risk of seizures or epilepsy was not significantly different between moderate alcohol drinkers (0.1-15.9 g/day) and alcohol abstainers. Study authors did not find that heavy alcohol consumption (15.1-30.0 g/day) was associated with risk of seizure or epilepsy.

This study cohort was primarily comprised of Caucasian (91%) women who had better health knowledge and access to healthcare than women in the general population. "Given the composition of the study group, our findings may not apply to men, younger or older populations, groups with lower socioeconomic status or lower attained education, or populations with higher percentages of minorities," advised Dr. Dworetzky. The authors suggest that further studies are needed to increase knowledge of modifiable risk factors to prevent seizures and epilepsy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dworetzky et al. A prospective study of smoking, caffeine, and alcohol as risk factors for seizures or epilepsy in young adult women: Data from the Nurses’ Health Study II. Epilepsia, 2009; DOI: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2009.02268.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Current cigarette smokers at increased risk of seizures." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091118072053.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2009, November 20). Current cigarette smokers at increased risk of seizures. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091118072053.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Current cigarette smokers at increased risk of seizures." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091118072053.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Herman Goldman has worked at the same lighting store for almost 75 years. Find out his secrets to a happy, productive life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Nancy Writebol, an American missionary who contracted Ebola, is apparently getting better, according to her husband. The outbreak, however, is not. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins