30-11-2015 | Health-related behaviour ‘often improves in people with epilepsy’

A new study has highlighted a trend towards better health-related behaviour among people diagnosed with epilepsy.

Conducted by the University of Calgary, the research explored patterns of health-related behaviour, such as smoking and physical activity, in people with epilepsy in the Canadian population and examined whether these behaviours have changed between 2010 and 2011.

The study included 522,722 participants, of whom 3,220 had epilepsy. According to results published in the medical journal Epilepsia, the proportion of people with epilepsy who did not participate in physical activity decreased over time.

It was also shown that the proportion of epilepsy patients who smoked cigarettes dropped, with these subjects consistently reducing their alcohol consumption in comparison to the general population.

Additionally, there was an apparent reduction in the prevalence of heart disease in people with epilepsy, but not in those without epilepsy; however, similar trends were not observed for other cardiovascular comorbidities studied.

The researchers concluded: "Apparent improvements in smoking cessation and physical activity occurred in people with epilepsy. Despite these improvements, physicians should continue to counsel their patients on the importance of healthy lifestyle choices."

To help make healthy choices check out the information leaflets on epilepsy.ie - Lifestyle