HealthDay News — The relative risk of a seizure disorder after eclampsia is higher than that of women unaffected by eclampsia but remains extremely low, according to a study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Kara A. Nerenberg, MD, from the University of Calgary in Canada, and colleagues retrospectively evaluated data from 1,565,733 births from April 1, 2002, to March 31, 2014, to evaluate the incidence rate and relative risk of a seizure disorder after eclampsia.

The researchers found that 0.1% of pregnancies were affected by eclampsia, 1.1% by pre-eclampsia, and 3.9% by gestational hypertension. 

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After a pregnancy with eclampsia, a future seizure disorder was significantly more likely (4.58/10,000 person-years) compared with a pregnancy without a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy (0.72/10,000 person-years; crude hazard ratio [HR] 6.09). This finding remained with minimal attenuation after multivariable adjustment for confounders (HR 5.42). After preeclampsia, the risk of seizure disorder was doubled (adjusted HR 1.96; 95% CI, 1.21-3.17), but this was not the case after gestational hypertension (adjusted HR 1.01; 95% CI, 0.71-1.43).

“Women with eclampsia should be reassured that, although the relative risk of a seizure disorder is higher than unaffected women, the absolute risk is extremely low (approximately 1 seizure/2200 person-years),” wrote the authors.

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Nerenberg KA, Park AL, Vigod SN, et al. Long-term risk of a seizure disorder after eclampsia [published online November 3, 2017]. Obstet Gynecol. doi:10.1097/AOG.0000000000002364