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.
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