Epilepsy Often Comes With Other Health Issues
Epilepsy affects about 2 million adults in the United States. New research from CDC shows that adults with epilepsy often have other health conditions that also need to be managed.
Some of the health conditions that are more common in adults with epilepsy include high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, obesity, and history of stroke. Asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, migraine, arthritis and other pain are also more common in adults with epilepsy. Treatment to maximize seizure control is critically important for people with epilepsy, but it's important for people with epilepsy to not ignore other health issues. They should talk with their health care providers about their overall health.
People with epilepsy can take these steps to protect their health:
Get recommended screenings and vaccinations: People with epilepsy need the same health screenings and vaccinations that people without epilepsy need. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has an easy-to-use tool that will help you find out what preventive services you need. Learn more about how to use the Electronic Preventive Services Selector.
Eat a healthy diet: Diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which can improve health for everyone. To learn more about healthy diets, visit CDC's Nutrition for Everyone website.
Be physically active: Regular physical activity is one of the most important things people can do for their health. People with epilepsy can often safely participate in physical activity–they just need to ask their health care providers to see what may be best for them.
Quit smoking: Quitting smoking has immediate as well as long-term benefits for everyone, including those with epilepsy. For help with quitting smoking, visit CDC's Smoking Program website.
Manage their epilepsy well: CDC and its partners have developed programs that can help people with epilepsy better manage their condition. For a list of available programs, visit Managing Epilepsy Well Network website.