Article epilepsy as a comorbidity in polymyositis and dermatomyositis—a cross-sectional study

Ella Nissan, Abdulla Watad, Arnon D. Cohen, Kassem Sharif, Johnatan Nissan, Howard Amital, Ora Shovman, Nicola Luigi Bragazzi

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    Polymyositis (PM) and dermatomyositis (DM) are autoimmune-mediated multisystemic myopathies, characterized mainly by proximal muscle weakness. A connection between epilepsy and PM/DM has not been reported previously. Our study aim is to evaluate this association. A case– control study was conducted, enrolling a total of 12,278 patients with 2085 cases (17.0%) and 10,193 subjects in the control group (83.0%). Student’s t-test was used to evaluate continuous variables, while the chi-square test was applied for the distribution of categorical variables. Log-rank test, Kaplan–Meier curves and multivariate Cox proportional hazards method were performed for the analysis regarding survival. Of the studied 2085 cases, 1475 subjects (70.7%) were diagnosed with DM, and 610 patients (29.3%) with PM. Participants enrolled as cases had a significantly higher rate of epilepsy (n = 48 [2.3%]) as compared to controls (n = 141 [1.4%], p < 0.0005). Using multivariable logistic regression analysis, PM was found only to be significantly associated with epilepsy (OR 2.2 [95%CI 1.36 to 3.55], p = 0.0014), whereas a non-significant positive trend was noted in DM (OR 1.51 [95%CI 0.99 to 2.30], p = 0.0547). Our data suggest that PM is associated with a higher rate of epilepsy compared to controls. Physicians should be aware of this comorbidity in patients with immune-mediated myopathies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number3983
    JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
    Issue number8
    StatePublished - 2 Apr 2021


    • Autoimmunity
    • Comorbidity
    • Dermatomyositis
    • Epilepsy
    • Polymyositis


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