Background: Patients with epilepsy have an increased risk of stroke. However, the detailed risk and characteristics of postepilepsy stroke have not been investigated. Methods: This study utilized the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan. We classified adult patients with newly diagnosed epilepsy from 2003 to 2016 as the epilepsy cohort. Patients in the nonepilepsy cohort were selected with propensity score matching at a case–control ratio of 1:5. The incidence, hazard ratio (HR), period-specific HR, recurrent HR in the Wei-Lin-Weissfeld model, stroke severity index, complications, and mortality of all stroke, ischemic stroke (IS) and hemorrhagic stroke events in the two cohorts were analyzed. Results: We enrolled 23,810 patients in the epilepsy cohort and 119,050 persons in the nonepilepsy cohort. The period-specific HRs of all stroke, IS and hemorrhagic stroke peaked immediately after epilepsy diagnosis and trended downward [Adjusted HRs of all stroke: 4.88 (3.88–6.14), 4.47 (3.50–5.70), 3.17 (2.62–3.84), 2.81 (2.27–3.48), 2.81 (2.36–3.34) and 2.33 (2.07–2.62) in 0–0.5, 0.5–1, 1–2, 2–3, 3–5 and ≥5 years after epilepsy diagnosis, respectively]. The recurrent stroke HRs in the epilepsy cohort were >1 from the first [3.06 (2.71–3.34)] to the fourth events [6.33 (1.08–37.03)]. IS events in the epilepsy cohort were associated with a younger onset age, a higher IS severity index, a higher rate of urinary tract infection, a lower in-hospital mortality, while 90-day stroke mortality was similar between the 2 cohorts. Conclusion: Since the increased risk of stroke in epilepsy cohort peaked immediately after epilepsy diagnosis, early implementation of prevention strategies is considered.
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