Background: The incidence of ischemic stroke has been increasing in the young population over the past 20 years. Poststroke epilepsy (PSE) is a common complication after stroke. However, few population-based studies with sufficient follow-up have investigated factors associated with PSE, especially factors related to comorbidities and unhealthy lifestyles in the modern young population. Accordingly, this study aimed to determine the long-term incidence and these risk factors for PSE young adults. Methods: This cohort study was conducted using data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) from 2002 to 2018. All patients aged between 19 and 44 years and diagnosed with ischemic stroke from 2002 to 2015 were retrospectively enrolled with a follow-up of at least 3 years. Multivariable Cox regression models were performed to identify predictors of PSE, including patients' demographics, baseline conditions, stroke severity, etiologies, comorbidities, and unhealthy behaviors. Results: Among 6,512 ischemic stroke patients, 402 cases (6.2%) developed PSE who were with a mean follow-up period of 8.3 years (SD = 4.3 years). During the overall follow-up, stroke severity and manifestations were associated with PSE, including National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score ≥10 (aHR, 1.98; 95% CI, 1.50–2.61), seizure at first stroke admission [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR), 57.39; 95% confidence interval (CI), 43.02–76.55], length of hospital stay ≥14 days (aHR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.26–2.02), recurrent stroke (aHR, 2.32; 95% CI, 1.85–2.90), aphasia (aHR, 1.77; 95% CI, 1.20–2.60), and malignancy (aHR, 2.05; 95% CI, 1.30–3.24). Furthermore, stroke patients with drug abuse were 2.90 times more likely to develop PSE than those without (aHR, 2.90; 95% CI, 1.53–5.50). By contrast, statin use (aHR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.48–0.80) was associated with a lower risk of PSE. The risk factors at 1-year and 5-year PSE were similar to that of an overall follow-up. Conclusions: Stroke severity, aphasia, malignancy, and drug abuse were associated increased risk of PSE and statin use may protect against PSE in young adults. Reducing the severity of stroke, statin use and controlling unhealthy behaviors might be able to decrease the development of PSE. Since PSE is associated with poor outcomes, early identification or intervention of PSE based on the risk factors might reduce the harmful effects of PSE.

Original languageEnglish
Article number880661
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Publication statusPublished - May 20 2022


  • comorbidities
  • epilepsy
  • ischemic stroke
  • poststroke epilepsy
  • risk factors
  • stroke severity
  • unhealthy lifestyles
  • young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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