Impact of somatic comorbidities on quality of life of patients living with epilepsy in Sagamu, Nigeria

Document Type



Internal Medicine (East Africa)



Somatic comorbidities are probably as important as the psychiatry comorbidities in people with epilepsy (PWE) although the former has received little attention especially in low‐ and middle‐income countries where the incidence of epilepsy is high. The main objective of this study was to determine the frequencies of somatic comorbidities in PWE. We also compared quality of life of two groups of PWE: Those with somatic comorbidities and those without.

Methods In this comparative cross‐sectional study, consecutive adult patients with epilepsy above 18 years of age were recruited at the neurology outpatient clinic of Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital from July 2010 through March 2011. Epilepsy‐related data and somatic comorbidities were collated in this population. Health‐related quality of life (HRQoL) and depression were also measured using QOLIE‐31(version 1.0) and Becks depression inventory II (BDI‐II), respectively.

Results One hundred and two PWE were recruited with 31 (30.4%) having at least one somatic comorbidity. Hypertension (OR = 12.43), dyspepsia (OR = 8.16), and stroke (OR = undefined) were significantly prevalent among PWE who are ≥50 years old. Energy was significantly lower among patients with comorbidities, and patients with multiple comorbidities had worse quality of life than those with single comorbidity (P = 0.006).

Conclusion Somatic comorbidity is prevalent in this population with significant impact on their quality of life. We emphasize the need to screen for and reduce the numbers of somatic comorbidities in PWE as this can improve their quality of life.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.


Wiley Online Library