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This article, first published by Frontiers Media, is the author's final published version in Frontiers in Neurology, Volume 15, 2024, Article number 1339276.

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Copyright © 2024 Gaertner, Mintzer and DeGiorgio


Epilepsy is associated with increased mortality. Cardiovascular disease confers a significant portion of this increased risk. Recently there is increased interest in the burden of cardiovascular mortality in people with epilepsy. This review discusses the most common cardiovascular risk factors and their association with epilepsy including obesity, diabetes mellitus, and hyperlipidemia. Hyperlipidemia related to the use of enzyme inducing anti-seizure medications is also discussed as a topic that is of particular importance to prescribers that have patients with comorbid cardiovascular risk and epilepsy. Heart rate variability (HRV) and its association with SUDEP is discussed as well as a contributor to vascular risk. Finally, the authors discuss a potential role for neurologists who treat epilepsy to engage closer with their patient's cardiovascular risk factors using available tools such as a the ASCVD score calculator to determine the overall risk of mortality, as well as acting upon this information to guide treatment approaches integrating the information provided in this review.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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