A new study from the US has shed light on the elevated risk of mortality that exists among children with epilepsy.Conducted by the Medical University of South Carolina and published in the journal Epilepsia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-backed research analyses data from 56,781 children who were treated from 2000 to 2011 for epilepsy, migraine or lower extremity fractures.It was shown that children with epilepsy had almost a fourfold increased risk of dying compared with children who had broken a bone or experienced migraines, with the presence of other neurodevelopmental conditions arising in addition to epilepsy helping to explain the higher risk of premature death.Of the 56,781 patients enrolled, a total of 447 children with epilepsy died during the study period, compared to 125 of those affected by migraine. The five-year risk of death was 4.38 per cent for children with epilepsy, 0.68 per cent for youngsters with migraines and 0.71 for those with lower extremity fractures.Other factors increasing this patient group’s elevated mortality risk includes the fragmented medical care provision that often affects children with epilepsy affected by multi-organ diseases, a factor deemed to play a “significant role” in explaining this trend.Study leader Dr Anbesaw Selassie said: “Well-coordinated medical care in managing both the epilepsy and the comorbid conditions can reduce the risk of death in children with epilepsy. Doctors with various specialties need to develop a team approach in treating these children to maximise their wellbeing.”It is estimated that around one in 240 children under 16 in the UK has epilepsy, or approximately 60,000 children under the age of 18.Posted by Anne BrownClick here for more articles about epilepsy in children.