Epilepsy and pregnancy: effect of antiepileptic drugs and lifestyle on birthweight
Article first published online: 12 AUG 2005
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Volume 107, Issue 7, pages 896–902, July 2000
How to Cite
Hvas, C. L., Henriksen, T. B., østergaard, J. R. and Dam, M. (2000), Epilepsy and pregnancy: effect of antiepileptic drugs and lifestyle on birthweight. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 107: 896–902. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2000.tb11089.x
- Issue published online: 12 AUG 2005
- Article first published online: 12 AUG 2005
- Accepted 23 February 2000
Objective To investigate the impact of epilepsy and antiepileptic drugs on length of gestation and anthropometric measures of the newborn.
Design Cohort study based on questionnaires mailed to all pregnant women who attended for prenatal care at our department from August 1989 to January 1997.
Setting Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark.
Participants One hundred and ninety-three singleton pregnancies in women with epilepsy were compared with 24,094 singleton pregnancies in women without epilepsy.
Main outcome measures Preterm delivery, small for gestational age, mean gestational age, gestational age-adjusted birthweight, head circumference, and body length.
Results Children of women with epilepsy who smoked had lower gestational age and were at increased risk of preterm delivery (OR 3.4; 95% CI 1.8–6.5), compared with children born by nonepileptic women who smoked. Birthweight adjusted for gestational age was reduced by 102 g (95% CI 40–164) in women with epilepsy, and the risk of delivering a child who was small for gestational age was increased (adjusted OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.3–2.7), compared with women without epilepsy. Newborn babies of women with epilepsy treated by drugs had a reduced adjusted birthweight (208 g, 95% CI 116–300), head circumference (0.4 cm, 95% CI 0.0.0.7), and body length (0.5 cm, 95% CI 0.1–1.0), compared with the newborn infants of women without epilepsy.
Conclusions Women with epilepsy who smoked were at increased risk of preterm delivery compared with healthy smokers. Children of women with drug treated epilepsy had lower birthweight, length, and head circumference than children of women without epilepsy.