Risk of epilepsy in stroke patients receiving acupuncture treatment: a nationwide retrospective matched-cohort study

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Abstract

Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/ OBJECTIVE: To investigate the risk of epilepsy in stroke patients receiving and not receiving acupuncture treatment. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. SETTING: This study was based on Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database that included information on stroke patients hospitalised between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2004. PARTICIPANTS: We identified 42 040 patients hospitalised with newly diagnosed stroke who were aged 20 years and above. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: We compared incident epilepsy during the follow-up period until the end of 2009 in stroke patients who were and were not receiving acupuncture. The adjusted HRs and 95% CIs of epilepsy associated with acupuncture were calculated using multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression. RESULTS: Stroke patients who received acupuncture treatment (9.8 per 1000 person-years) experienced a reduced incidence of epilepsy compared to those who did not receive acupuncture treatment (11.5 per 1000 person-years), with an HR of 0.74 (95% CI 0.68 to 0.80) after adjustment for sociodemographic factors and coexisting medical conditions. Acupuncture treatment was associated with a decreased risk of epilepsy, particularly among stroke patients aged 20-69 years. The log-rank test probability curve indicated that stroke patients receiving acupuncture treatment had a reduced probability of epilepsy compared with individuals who did not receive acupuncture treatment during the follow-up period (p < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Stroke patients who received acupuncture treatment had a reduced risk of epilepsy compared with those not receiving acupuncture treatment. However, the protective effects associated with acupuncture treatment require further validation in prospective cohort studies.

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Weng, S. W., Liao, C. C., Yeh, C. C., Chen, T. L., Lane, H. L., Lin, J. G., & Shih, C. C. (2016). Risk of epilepsy in stroke patients receiving acupuncture treatment: a nationwide retrospective matched-cohort study. BMJ Open, 6(7), e010539. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010539

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