Risk Factors for a First Febrile Seizure: A Matched Case‐Control Study

Anne T. Berg, Shlomo Shinnar, Eugene D. Shapiro, Morton E. Salomon, Ellen F. Crain, W. Allen Hauser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

165 Scopus citations


Summary We conducted a matched casecontrol study to identify risk factors for first febrile seizures, with special emphasis on characteristics of the acute illness episode. Cases were identified through hospital emergency departments; controls were identified through outpatient clinics and emergency departments. Sixtynine children with first febrile seizures and no history of previous unprovoked seizures were matched for age (±6 months), site of routine pediatric care, and date of visit (±weeks) with 1 or 2 febrile controls who had no history of previous febrile or unprovoked seizures. Medical records for the index visit were reviewed, and parents were interviewed by telephone. Illness characteristics examined included height of temperature, type of underlying illness, contact with a physician during the illness but before the index visit, and use of acetaminophen or decongestants. Family history of febrile and of unprovoked seizures, sociodemographic characteristics, daycare use, and selected preand perinatal variables were also studied. On multivariable analysis, significant independent risk factors were height of temperature, history of febrile seizures in a firstor in a higher degree relative. Gastroenteritis as the underlying illness had a significant inverse (i.e., protective) association with febrile seizures. Maternal smoking during pregnancy was a marginally significant predictor of febrile seizures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)334-341
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1995


  • Acute illness episode
  • Family history
  • Febrile seizures
  • Fever
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Maternal smoking during pregnancy
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Risk Factors for a First Febrile Seizure: A Matched Case‐Control Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this